Monday, September 10, 2007

Parenting Blues

If you ask my oldest child right now what she thinks of my parenting skills, you better be prepared. I'm pretty sure Fred and I wouldn't score very high at all.

Interim reports came out last week. That means the girls are halfway through the first nine weeks of school. I pay attention to grades. A LOT of attention. I know what these kids of mine are capable of and I expect that level of effort and achievement.

Paige has determined that she is no good at math. I can understand that. I'm not too swift in the math department, either. I was the type person who would fail a math class first go round, then pass it with an A the next time I took it. Don't ask me why it was this way. It just took an extra click in my brain, I suppose. Back in the day, tutors weren't readily available and if they were? They might've interfered with my social life. ( I am rolling my eyes at my own self here.)

I believe the problem lies with the fact that girlfriend has never had to work to make good grades. They just happen for her. She retains knowledge easily and can take a test with no problem. Paige doesn't want to hear that...uh maybe math ISN'T going to be easy. It doesn't mean she can't do it. It just means she's going to have work a little bit to make it happen. Instead of being grateful that everything else is like pie, she wants to bemoan the fact that "math is hooooorrrrrriiiibbbllleeeee. I'm soooooo retarrrrded in maaaaaath." (See what I'm dealing with here?)

Let's say Paige has a bad grade for her math interim report. Oh, yeah, really bad. Last night she brought the paper to me to sign. I told I didn't sign bad grades. (Crank up the dramatics about now...) She said she would get in trouble if I didn't sign the paper. I shrugged and said..."I guess you better not bring another grade like that home again." She then turned to Fred and asked him to step in and sign the paper. He almost did it. Then, he too, decided not to sign it. (Imagine the grumbling and complaining under her breath as she walks away now...)

I know signing the paper doesn't indicate that I approved of the grade. I'm just not going to put my name on the same piece of paper showing that my child didn't do her best. I'm not gonna do it. Call me a hard case if you will. Doesn't bother me in the least.

This morning I received an email from her math teacher. Here's a snippet of what I read when I opened it.....

Mrs. T,

Paige told Ms. M. that you wouldn’t sign her report card because of her math grade, so I wanted to make sure you understood why her grade is currently a XX. This is primarily because of the poor Unit 1 test; she should have reworked that this weekend and should turn it in today for extra credit.

The bottom line is that she is definitely able to recover and bring her grade up. Please let me know if you have additional questions.

Mr. T

How about that? I love communication between teachers. I love teachers who take initiative even more to let the parent know what's going on. Of course, my goal is not to humiliate my child with this post. I love her too much to do that. A huge portion of the email was deleted to protect the innocent.

So, now we (we=Fred and myself) get to be the Horrible Parental Unit this evening.

It's almost gotta be like a car accident. You don't know it's happening until you are smack dab in the middle of it.

This means that I gotta crack down and wreck Paige's day. I hate doing that.

This means I (and I decided I would be the Enforcer this go round and give Fred a break) get to tell her that herspace thingy is, at the moment, a thing of her past. I'm going to give her two minutes this evening on the phone to inform her posse that evening chat times are no longer an option in her life. As soon as the grades come up? We'll renegotiate. Wait until I tell her the computer is no longer hers to enjoy.

This has potential to get ugly.

My parents think I'm too hard on her. ~shrugs~ Maybe they weren't hard enough on me? Who knows?

My gut feeling tells me that if I don't put her on the right road now? Success will always be out of her reach. I have to teach her to work to achieve goals. Because all these friends who make her world go round? My money is on the fact they won't be around in ten years when she has to pay her own bills.

Oh, the joys of parenting a teenager.


carla said...

I think you have your eyes on what is important. My parents were way too slack. Its going to be hard to enforce because... let's face it we all want our child to be happy... but at least you can end the day knowing she may not be happy now but will be thanking you later. I never understood what my dad was trying to instill in me then but do now and have thanked him every time I see him. So just keep looking ahead.

Get Off My Lawn! said...

Hard case.

Hey, you asked for it. You're still right. And MyPast? Priceless. I wish I had the technical know-how to engineer it so that the next time my less-than-hard working students go online, "MyPast" pops up! I may have to do some studying.

Dina said...

Hey girlfriend. I finally got a chance to read your blog and get cought up on things.

Sounds like bad grades are going around. Sis is having trouble in english. And she feels she needs to do better in math. She's not doing bad in math, she just feels she can do better since most of what they are doig Michael has drilled it into her head. English has never been a strong subject for her. Mainly test taking. But she usally brings her grades up pretty well by the time report cards come out.

Little Man, well what can I tell you. You have one too. He is talking more and more each day. He says "Foof" for juice, "Ease" for please (not regularly yet), and "Come come" (with hands opening and closing) for come with me. He thinks everything "Dad" uses he can use as well. He thinks he's helping dad with the construction around here. HA HA.

Sweet Pea is growing like a weed. She has figured out she has a voice and now babbles almost contantly. She also lets us know when we are "NOT" paying attention to her.

As for Michael and myself we are doing just fine. There are days I would love to just leave and go some where by myself (besides grocery shopping).

I am so glad Fred is able to go back on sub duty. But I am sure gonna feel for you when he does. I also read about Vitt's first day of school (even though I already know what happend). I loved the pictures. I don't know if mom got teary eyed with the "Father and son" picture but I sure did. It's not fair. I haven't seen him since he was a baby. Like you said how our the kids suppose to know who we are when we don't see each other. I can't believe you haven't even seen these two little ones. We really need to figure something out so we can all get together. I don't like it this way at all. Well I better get going. Need to get sleep when I can. You know how that goes.

Love you

Domestic Diva said...

What a tough lesson to learn! is one that is well needed.

Paige, here's a little note for you...You may absolutely hate what your mom is doing right now, but, I promise you, if your grades get better because of it, then this little moment in time is worth it. I know how hard it will be to not get to socialize with your friends as much (believe me, it can be hard on adults too), but the real story is this: Friends don't let friends get bad grades. If they really care about you. If they really know you. They'll want you to do your best. Because of that, they'll understand that you need to take some time to work on your own stuff.

Good luck, Miss Paige. Get those grades back up and then keep em! :)

Krys72599 said...

I'm a little late here (family funeral yesterday w/ no computer access over the weekend...).

I just KNOW we'd get along like a house afire if we ever met in person :)

My DSS decided that the reason he was "not doing so well" in math (an F!!! and it does NOT stand for "fine"!) was "because the teacher sucks."

That was JUST the right button to push with me! It started my speech about how school is an interactive experience, that learning doesn't occur via osmosis, that you have to reach out and *grab* that education with your hands and your brain and your heart, that you're *entitled* to LEARN math and although your teacher may not be a good fit for YOU, he/she might *still* be a great instructor for another kid or two or twelve and you HAVE to *actively* learn, the teacher just can't stand up there teaching if you're not sitting there learning...

Funny, when I write it all out it sounds the same as when I was saying it out loud - DH said I didn't take a breath during the whole thing and it reads the same way...