We've all heard it, possibly from our Mothers..."I am at my wit's end with you."
Subsequently, many of us are guilty of saying it to our children..."I am at my wit's end with you and I don't know what to do next."
For me, my wit's end is when I lose my creative ability to motivate. That's when I start to shout. There's just nothing else to do. I have no other creative outlets to influence those around me, so I yell.
I was at my wit's end two years ago when all I could do was yell. But, in those two years, "my wit's end" has gotten farther and farther away from where I am as a parent.
For example, this morning I took all the flat irons and curling irons and put them in my room. Sydney loves her hair irons more than she loves anything else, including sometimes, me. It's clear because she spends so much more quality time staring at herself in the mirror while she alters the natural growth of her hair than she spends doing anything else.
That was creative. I didn't need to yell. They just disappeared. And, in their place was the graded work she did last night.
You've probably figured it out by now, but we're still having trouble with 7th grade math. It's not a lack of skill. It's not a lack of understanding the math functions. It's not that she missed anything in class. She just can't think through the problems logically BECAUSE SHE'S IN TOO BIG OF A HURRY TO GO HAVE FUN!
And, she's 13 and her brain doesn't work right. From what I hear, from 12-16, nobody's brain works right. I bet that's when most parents say "I am at my wit's end..." because after we've exhausted our creativity, there's nothing else to do. We can't make those brains work right.
Unless we keep getting more creative. And, that's what Rob and I try to do.
Nothing that we've done so far has incented her to take her time and get math problems right. Continuing to give her work to do every day and making her sit and listen while I explain how to set up the problems is not sufficient incentive. I don't understand that. I would do just about anything to keep from having to spend all my time on 7th grade math. Why won't she?
So, I'll keep printing practice problems. And, I'll keep spending my nights explaining how to set the problems up. And, I'll keep thinking of things to restrict until she finally gets the message that math is not going away and neither am I.
And, I'll keep pushing "my wit's end" further and further away because I like the me that doesn't shout. I like the me that remains calm. Even when I lock myself in the sewing room so she can't see my frustration.
I'm happier. I think she will be too. Eventually. But, I worry that she won't get there until she's lost every priviledge and courtesy that we afford her.
But, better that she lose them now than fall behind in such an important subject.
When I near "my wit's end" I just sit back and think about what gives her pleasure. And I take it away. And, then I go print more math problems.
Because I am immenently more creative than she is stubborn.
Take care and have a great Wednesday. Let me know what your most creative consequence was. Maybe I can use it to keep "my wit's end" at bay.