Thursday, June 05, 2008

Where is my Parenting manual when I need it?!!


The first day of summer vacation and my Firstborn is mad at me.

*sigh*

How on earth do you get mostly A's and 2 D's? He refuses to take responsibility and tells me that English and Chinese are just too hard. Yet he fails to acknowledge the fact that he hardly put in any study effort. When he would tell me he was heading to a friends house to study, I would find out that the "study" time lasted all of 10 minutes and they spent the rest of the time gaming. He had refused the offers of study help from my brother who speaks Mandarin. He had refused help from me (I happen to be quite good at the subject). He did bring his math grades up with the help of Mr. Wonderful (who was a math tutor on his mission and in college).

Right now I am waiting for Mr. Wonderful to get home from a business trip. We will decide together what to do about Firstborn. I am reminded about my sophomore year in high school. My grades earned me a grounding for an entire term: no dates, no fun, only study or church until I got my act together. I did. I certainly do not remember ever yelling at my parents about the unfairness of it all.

This is one of those parenting times where I dearly wished there was a manual. Something that would put a little certainty into my head. I should know how to parent a teen, after all, I was one....once. Firstborn pulled the classic line uttered every generation: "You have no idea how hard school is!" Hmmmmm. Did I ever say that to my mom? I don't think so. I hope not. (Just wait, she will see this and tell me differently.....)

In the meantime, Secondborn pulled off all A's as well as a perfect score on his PACE Powerpoint presentation. Without much help and absolutely no one reminding him to study. Thirdborn is slightly below grade average, but improved greatly from the beginning of the year. I plan on hitting the local homeschooling store for materials to set up a summer program for Thirdborn and Love Magnet. I think an hour a day of reading, writing, and math along with bedtime reading will be great for the two of them. They are certainly willing.

What on earth do I do about Firstborn? My inquiring mind wants to know......

13 comments:

Melissa said...

I'm glad to hear that we have similar teens! I wish there was a manual too. What happened to the days of actually STUDYING for a test the night before one? I've yet to see it in my oldest....hopefully next year! Good luck, it's certainly not easy.

P.S. I laughed out loud when you commented about my old truck from H.S. I had forgotten some of that....hilarious! See, I'm just sticking with tradition (for the first 17 years of our marriage). Time to start a new one!

Anna said...

I have no advice....I have no parenting skills...yikes, parenting. You're a good mom, you'll figure it out...maybe reward him with something he wants if he puts in requisite study time and improves his grades....I don't know. Good luck!

Kimberly said...

While helping my mom clean out her basement, I came across my sophmore report card. Let's just say that I destroyed the evidence. I did better the next two years and went on to graduate from college with very good grades! I vote to cut him a little slack (easy for an aunt to say).

MrsVJW said...

That sounds like one of my high school report cards! I had, and still have, serious problems with math. I can do your standard math, but once we got in to algebra and trig and all that, I was just lost. Didn't help that to take the "advanced" English classes, I also had to take the advanced Math. I think over half the class was straight As in one class and a C or lower in the other.

Some people just are not wired to get every subject (although that doesn't excuse not even trying). I'm horrible at math, and I know some brilliant math/engineer types who will run screaming when they're asked to compose a coherent email.

CandyandLadybugs said...

I know my mom had similar fights with my brothers and school. Especially my middle little brother. He was a pill! He's so smart, but didn't apply himself at all in school. His senior year he did so poorly that he almost didn't graduate. My parents had to go beg the school to let him graduate.

I hope he calms down and your summer goes better.

goingtogoal said...

I can tell you that we didn't do these types of things when we were teens. LOL! No, seriously, I personally think that with each generation the pull of the world gets harder on our kids. We as parents have to be tough. I know that we had to be more tough on Stacey than our parents ever had to be on us. Think about how much the world has changed...kids can't play out after dark etc.! You and Mr. Wonderful will find a good recourse for him. Sending you a hug. I know that it is hard!

Angela said...

My parents had a rule regarding driving (which will come in handy next year). A 3.0 or no driving. It helps with your insurance rates anyway. Also, studying with friends? That made me laugh!! No kid studies with friends. I didn't. I only studied at home locked up in my room. Use John as your reference. He'll come out of it. John was super smart but just didn't care and there was nothing to be done to change that. However, yelling and nagging definitely didn't help at all. But now he's just about a straight A student in college. Some take longer than others. Don't worry too much.

Scarehaircare said...

Driving in ID starts at 15. Our rule is no Eagle, no driving (all he has left to do is plan his Eagle project and get it approved). He hasn't taken Drivers Ed yet b/c I also told him that he would have to get a summer job and pay for Drivers Ed himself. I relaly like the 3.o rule. I shall speak with Mr. Wonderful about that one.

mum2brady said...

Parenting can just be tough all around. Our kids cannot play with friends if they have C's or D's - but that is because they are more than capable of getting A's and B's and thus such grades are unacceptable - if it was a struggle for them to pull C's - we would have different policies. But, for the most part, it is either pure laziness on their part that they are not pulling all A's and B's.

Hope things improve - but life is a learning experience, for both them and us. I sure wish they all came with manuals :)

Matthew said...

Beat him. Lots and often. I humbly offer my services.

Farrell and Marilyn Barlow said...

Well after that last great advise I don't know what to say. Mom advise. Don't yell!!!! It is a waste of time, it always hurts you or your child and usually both of you and you always wish you han't gotten so upset. Remember the best advise is to act not react!
Well, now I actually think that is some pretty good advise.

Scarehaircare said...

Too late. I yelled. I am regretting that action already.

As for beating, you might as well get out here to offer your services. Firstborn is taller than me. I don't think I intimidate him at all.

Off to try to remember what I am grateful for this past week.

Soozcat said...

Well, Firstborn could always do it the way I did--getting through high school on charm and grace alone, and then getting myself kicked out of college because I didn't go to class or do the work, and my professors (who didn't know me from Adam) summarily failed me. But that's a hard (and expensive) way to learn responsibility.

I think you might also consider curtailing future "study" groups unless they take place in your home.