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.....
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.
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.