Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Eating Crow

So, I was going back through some old posts, and came across this one from August 4th. I was ranting, once again, about the mountain of money I have to throw at Wal-Mart in order to outfit my kids with all the "necessary" school supplies. Although, I have to say that next year I'll be properly armed with batches of manilla drawing paper, red pencils, and low-odor dry erase markers. You see, I've been shopping clearance aisles every week for next year's supplies. So, of course, that means the list will drastically change and I'll be stuck with supplies I don't need but I'll have to shell out $3 a bottle for hand sanitizer. Because, you know, that's the kind of luck I have.

Anyway, I felt a bit hungry for crow as I read the words I typed below about expecting kids to take responsibility for their own actions:

And please, teachers, if you're reading this, PLEASE don't tell me how hard it is to get kids to keep track of their own belongings. Don't you think we already know that? We're their parents!!! And, if they lose their belongings, do the parents expect the teacher to replace them? No, of course not. The parents have to replace them. The student's work may suffer for their own lack of responsibility, but (gasp) it's a life lesson to be learned. If my kid needs colored pencils for a project and he left his at home, then I guess he'll turn his project in late, or have to share with someone else, or get a zero. I think the bottom line is that we (adults) should be doing what is best for the kids, not what is easiest for us. Yeah, sometimes it's a pain in the butt and often times it causes an extra argument. But, I'm a firm believer that the most learning happens from pain.

This paragraph is coming straight outta the mouth of a woman who's never forced her kids to learn from pain. Forgot your lunch at home? I'll run it up to you at school. Left your homework on the bus? I'll e-mail your teacher and explain. Maybe she'll give you an extra day to turn it in. And, science fair projects? Well, you just tell me what you think and I'll type as you talk. Wait, no, let me explain it better for you. Wait, no, why don't you just sit on the chair and I'll tell you when I need you...

It's getting harder and harder to take a stand on anything, because experience seems to be proving me wrong time after time. Trust me, I want to be a hard-a$$. I want to give my kids a hug and tell them, "Oh, I know that's tough. Now you know for next time what to do, so that this doesn't happen again." But, in reality, when they fail I feel like *I* fail. Seeing them get a C on their report card makes me feel like *I* got a C on my report card. It doesn't help that the school sends home an e-mail notice every time a kid gets a grade lower than C on any assignment. Do you have a clue how many assignments are graded every day, for three children??? It's like a little annoying gnat flying around my ear... bzzz... Linus got a 65% on spelling.... bzzz... Peppermint Patty got a 45% on her Civics worksheet... bzzz... your kids are never going to get into college and will live in your spare bedroom until they're 43... bzzz...

And still, Peppermint Patty, Linus, and Charlie Brown have all been straight-A students since the beginning of the year. What the frack am I worried about?

Seriously, someone come over and cut these apron strings. Please. I can't seem to do it myself.

5 comments:

Foursons said...

Oh girl, I feel your pain. When I get an email about a reading test Jakob took and the grade is anything less than an "A" I feel as though I failed him. *sigh*

Anna See said...

Whew! Makes me happy they don't send us emails around here. I'm not having school-related apron string issues, but friend related apron string issues. It KILLS me to see my kids struggle with friends, whether they are being left out or whether they are doing the leaving out.

Jennifer said...

This just proves that it is easier to SAY things than DO things.

Gigi said...

This post made me laugh out loud. Because I could have wrote it! Just this morning I dropped Man-Child off at school, had just hopped on the freeway to start my twenty minute trek to work when my phone rang. He'd left his homework in the backseat could I please bring it to him. This wouldn't have been a big deal - except the next exit to turn around was at least 5 miles away and I only had 25 minutes to get to work. Did I tell him "tough?" Nope, turned around when possible and brought him his homework. ::sigh:: It's what mom's do - talk tough and then cave.

Wendy said...

The moms around here take 'helicopter' parenting to a whole new level of insanity.

It's made me even more conscious of not doing this to my own kids.

Recently a mom got called to the school because her daughter & another little girl were in the counselor's office. The little girl accused her daughter of "not wanting to play with me". OMGsh! What a tragedy! Let's call all the moms and talk it out with the counselor!

I warn my kids' teachers... "we're working on them being self-sufficient. If I've already reminded them in the morning ten times & they walk out without their supplies, I let it go. If they don't have what they need, feel free to give them a bad time. I already know about it..." The teachers so far have been very happy to see this, very supportive of what we're doing.