Way back in the day...when dinosaurs ruled the earth and school was a 12 mile uphill walk both ways in 2 feet of snow....
And, I was in school, good grades were expected. A's and B's were right. C's were unacceptable. I would have been afraid to have a D or F. The consequences would have been unthinkable. The majority of kids around me felt the same. Good grades were the expectation. Our peer relationships, our parental relationships, the entertainment industry, our teachers and all the other adults that congratulated us for good grades reinforced that.
I don't see that anymore. Peers and the entertainment industry seem to reinforce that failure is to be celebrated. That and boxer shorts that hang out above belt lines. The guy that drops out and rides off into the sunset on the motorcycle with the long haired, buxom blond is the hero. Nobody ever mentions that they both end up underemployed and bored and broke. They just remember that heroic ride into the sunset.
Last night, while I was being hated for taking away Sydney's laptop, I was reminded...by her...that all her friend's parents are just glad if their kids pass school. Who cares whether that's a C or D grade. As long as they pass. That's certainly different than it was back in my day. And, I question the truth that we're the only parents that care. (and I wonder just how many of those friends have laptops)
I was also reminded that teachers don't give enough work to help bring up a bad grade. No mention was made about who earned a bad grade to start with or all the reminders that Rob has given her over the last 4 weeks about her grades.
And, I was told that I could not possibly understand how hard she works at school. All I do is sit in an office all day and do nothing.
That's the one thing I chose to argue with.
At work, I'm an analyst. I use math. I look at numbers to answer questions. I use logic. People ask me questions and I have to find the answer and figure out whether there's a problem. I use language to convey my ideas in ways that others will understand. I use a keyboard to transmit those answers. I use history to help me find workable solutions and to do research. I am part of a peer group that has a pecking order.
In fact, my days are not all that different than my 13 year old's. Except she gets off work at 3:30 and has 3 consecutive months of summer vacation. What she's learning in school, I'm using at work.
And, if she hopes to use the skills at work, then she's got to learn them in school.
I don't know how much of that got through. Don't care. I talk. She sulks. She's mad. I'm unreasonable. I don't do anything. It's my fault that I don't make her do more homework (no mention that her constant refrain is that she has already done her homework).
But, you know what? There wasn't any yelling. There was very little crying (much to Rob's dismay after I promised weeping over the Spanish assignment I gave after her shower). That is soooo different from what it was like 3 years ago. Now we've learned. Give a clear expectation and stand behind it. Administer consequences. No need to argue. No need to fight. I am not responsible, nor do I have to answer, for her disappointment.
Life is so much better than it was Way Back in 2008.
In 2008, we thought we had to explain. We thought we had to argue that we were right. Maybe we did. Maybe that established the base for the expectations we have now.
I gotta tell you. I'd rather she text all her friends about how mean I am than to stand in the kitchen shouting back and forth with her.
And, I just keep reminding her that she doesn't really hate me. She's just pissed off and I'm the goat.
But, I gotta confess. There was a lot of satisfaction in making her do homework while she was so mad at me. tee-hee-hee.
Take care and have a great Wednesday. Lane