Tuesday, October 25, 2011

an entirely different post than what i had planned for today.

Well, I was about to sit and type for a bit, but drama and teen-angst are ever pervasive.

At the beginning of the school year, MyFavoriteKid fell behind right out of the gate. He met and worked with each of his teachers individually, submitted the late work, and pulled his grades back up. Quite up. Straight A's.

After that, I spent a few weeks of monitoring him, but then he asked me to give him the benefit of the doubt and let him try to stay on track with less supervision. He wanted to prove he could do it himself and said that he wanted to move into feeling more independent. I've limited my checking in to just the general, "So how much homework do you have today," and, "Are you on track in all of your classes?"

I should get the DingBatMomOfTheYear award for not quietly supplementing that line of questioning by continuing to check the school's homework reporting website on a daily basis. Nooooo, I just figured MyFK's word was good as gold, considering the lesson he'd learned only just several weeks ago.

WELL. I just logged on to the school's website. He's not doing baaaad ....but it is painfully clear that he is headed down the wrong path again. MyNotSoFavoriteAtTheMomentKid has been lying about the amount of homework he has and skipping a few assignments here and there, and it's starting to bite him in the ass. Which means, not being responsible, and not telling me the truth (which pisses me off just as much, if not more so...although I'm trying not to take it personal. Ha.). He even told me that if I logged on and saw some assignments missing, that he had already spoken to his teacher, and she said it was a glitch in the system with her entering grades and she said she had reported it and it was being fixed.

I mean, that is not even a little white lie. That's a big fat convoluted let's make up dog-ate-my-homework type shit, and I am pissssssed off.

So. I have to go hover for awhile, in between searching for some articles to read about parenting teenagers and teaching them to be more responsible.

Any suggested reading materials, peeps??


Maggie said...

And this kid is how old?

Teenagers have to push back at boundaries -- it's developmentally required.

Teenagers MUST experience failure of several kinds. Parents can postpone it, can monitor and manage them into success ... but if a parent is too good at that, all that happens is that the first failures are bigger and more lasting because they happen in the adult arena.

To be perfectly honest, this sounds like you are exactly on track as a parent. Really, kudos to you for doing it so well.

1. The kid made some mistakes early in the semester.

2. You caught on right away, got him some cleanup assistance, set his feet on the path again, monitored again.

3. He ASKED for the chance to prove himself.

4. You agreed, honoring his choices and supporting his growing responsibility.

5. He made some more mistakes. He even lied about it (likely trying to give himself more room to correct them, though there are other less savory possibilities).

6. Here it is not even November and you've already caught on, found out about both the skipped homework and the lies. You are presently contemplating what steps to take, not just 'reacting'.

So from my perspective, this is excellent parenting. The kid got a chance to practice, you and the kid have made some important discoveries, and it's still early enough to catch up. BRAVO!

Gina said...

I love Mike Riera's pragmatic approach to parenting teens. His "Uncommon Sense for Patents and Teenagers" was an enormous help for me. He also has a book "Surviving High School" which I haven't read but might be just the thing you need right now.

Ruth Spears said...

Good luck! I raised two but felt like I was beating my head against the wall the whole time. Close supervision is the only way--teenagers have no maturity at all and will tell you anything. After my daughter was grown, she called to tell me thank you. I guess that's all you can ask for.

~Donna~ said...

You can read all you want and you'll get a few really good pointers here and there, but the kid will always throw you a curve ball. Just remember, he's not a textbook kid and you are not a textbook mother. No one is - we are all individuals and that's what makes us so awesome. Even though we screw up. :)

I read a lot on the internet just wandering from site to site.

Some things will be easier to deal with than others and you will want to bang your head on the wall a lot. I suggest a good sturdy bike helmet.

Good Luck Mom! :)