Friday, October 10, 2008

One step forward, two steps back

W. is failing science. He has C's in two other classes. His only A is in gym. He is far too smart to be getting grades like this. As Charles Schultz said, "There is no greater burden than great potential." (Thanks for the quote, Barbara!) And he's clearly bogged down by his burden. I somehow suspect that this means I am failing as a parent. I tried very hard to have a calm and reasonable discussion with him about his grades this morning. He cried; I repressed righteous anger as hard as I could. I used the parent trump card: "I'm so disappointed in you." I never raised my voice (if you know me and my temper, you know that I darn near threw a blood clot keeping an even temper and a soft voice). I even complimented him on actually turning in *all* of his homework without my nagging, which is something we've worked very hard at the past 2 years. Only the best parents can throw a compliment into a scolding lecture, right? But for that step forward, we are now dealing with sloppy and substandard work. Letting him figure this out on his own is killing me (provided his sister the budding pyromaniac doesn't do me in in a blaze of glory). Doing homework is definitely a step forward but the unconcern about the quality he's turning in is at least two steps backwards. Why didn't these kids come with a manual? Without some clue, I am definitely never going to get mom of the year. At this rate, I won't ever even be nominated. :-P


  1. Yikes Kristen you've got a lot going on there. You really needed this on top of the whole moving thing...

    I have to recommend the book 'Parent Effectiveness Training' by Dr Thomas Gordon for providing some really useful tools for listening to kids and working out what's really bugging them as well as finding solutions that work for everyone.
    Good luck!

  2. At least if you ever decide to run away from your problems you know you'd get pretty far.

    And I don't see how his bad grades make you a bad mom. You have made sure he has the tools he needs. He's got the support, he's got the brains, he's deciding to, uh, focus his attentions in a different area. You've surrounded that horse in water and he's looking at the clouds. But they are lovely clouds and someday he'll get thirsty and drink.

    What a sweet metaphor, eh? My kids can't play with matches because I don't own them. Instead they get to play with those gas clicker lighters and with hot glue guns. Grey is very *now* as a hair color, you know?


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