well, i got another e:mail from michael's teacher. this time it, it wasn't a homework issue but rather a disrespectful non listening issue. and from the tone of the e:mail, i could sort of tell that she wrote it on the defensive expecting me to have all sorts of excuses for my son. and well, if there's one thing that i don't tolerate, it is children who are rude to adults. ESPECIALLY teachers. i know that teachers don't get paid enough to put up with some of these bad kids, and then they have to hear it from the parents who are convinced that their children are perfect angels. so i wrote her back and let her know that while i knew about her taking points off of michael's agenda, he was not truthful about why she took points off, so i was glad to get her e:mail, or i would have been completely in the dark! and basically when michael got home, i sat him down and talked to him. i told him that lying to me or any other adult, was not acceptable. i told him that he's a very good boy, and we are proud of how well he's done in school, BUT when you make bad choices there are consequences. and the thing is this. grounding or spanking or yelling might work with some kids. but with michael, it doesn't. so, last time he got in trouble for not doing his homework i told him, here's the rules. right now, i know that your hair and clothes are important. however, if you can't follow the rules and keep getting in trouble at school (be it for not doing homework or whatever) first, we will get a haircut. a haircut to my standards. and if you continue to have a problem, the second step will be buying four sets of cacky pants, white tshirts and plain shoes and that's what you can wear every day... and i hated like heck to have to take the kid to get the haircut, but i knew that if i didn't stand my ground about what the consequences would be, then he would think that i was a pushover. so far i think it was effective. and i told him that if his behavior improves and he keeps his homework done, then he is more than welcome to grow his hair back out. if not, then we'd move onto the next punishment and i'm sure that after a while he'd get tired of wearing the SAME thing every day.
the hardest part about having a preteen is that you are surrounded by parents who are "too busy" to parent. they complain about their kids, but don't have time for them. they don't ask them questions about thier friends or daily life and they don't care when they get in trouble for the little things. i have seen the result of what happens when you don't take care of the little things..
i love my son enough to make education his top priority. i worry about raising kids in this day and age where parents of 8th graders are getting calls about their children performing certain "inappropriate" acts with boys. i worry about drugs and about people who have no life skills. i worry about kids who go to college and don't know how to do their own laundry or balance a checkbook.
i was not the best student or the most polite child. when i got married my husband taught me how to: a) do laundry b) pay bills; including balancing a checkbook and c) drive. funny now, not so funny at the time.
i am the mean mom who is trying to make her kids accountable for their actions. the mean mom who will discipline your children when you are not there to do so. (using words and letting them know that they can't get away with certain things; i don't lay my hands on random children!) and i'm waiting to get a knock at the door from a parent asking if i yelled at their child for playing with matches in the park. because the answer is, "yes. i did. and where were you?" being a parent is hard work. and some of these other parents who don't do their jobs are making it even harder on the rest of us who are trying.
don't get me wrong. i am not a perfect parent. i yell far too often, hate mopping and make my kids eat cereal instead of something more balanced for breakfast... but regardless, all i want is for my kids to know that in the end, i did it for them. that i love them and want them to grow up and not be afraid of the world. to be able to make it on their own. and to trust that they are good enough, smart enough, and that they can do it. because they can.... i mean, isn't that what we all want for them?