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Wednesday, November 29, 2017

No new tricks here. Just me continuing to annoy my son.

In the two freshman parent meetings I've attended this year, the guidance counselors recommend backing off and letting the kids figure things out on their own - especially homework assignments and managing their time.

In years past, I would check the school website prior to picking up Peter and Sarah just to get a feel for how much homework they both had and to make sure that no special projects or important dates were being missed.

Peter's high school has a more advanced website where homework is posted, messages from the teacher are posted, and files are shared.

I have been doing my best to stay off this website and Peter has stayed on top of things the entire first quarter and his grades were excellent.  However, when he would mention a project or something outside of the realm of homework and tests, I would hop on and just get a feel for the scope of the project/assignment.  It's hard to teach an old dog new tricks.

So several weeks ago when he mentioned a math project that required me to purchase toothpicks, I hopped right on the website to get more details.  And right after that, he mentioned a religion project that he was actually excited about so I checked that out as well.

I printed off a blank calendar and wrote down the important due dates and showed it to Peter so he could get a visual for when everything was due so he wouldn't leave it all to the last minute.  He said he was aware of everything and had it handled.

I occasionally would mention that perhaps he needed to be working on his projects and he would get mad. So I backed off.  But prior to the Thanksgiving break, I told him he really needed to get the math project done so he could focus on his religion project. He agreed that he would and he spent a little time on the math project but he did not get it completed.  Every time I mentioned it he got angry so by Saturday I told Dan that I wasn't bringing it up again. I was done.  He was on his own.

Until yesterday when I glanced at the calendar and realized that another smaller math project was due today and that in fact, the big project that I thought was due on Friday is actually due tomorrow.  YIKES!

I sent Dan a flurry of texts and mentioned that this is what the guidance counselors were referring to when they said, "you need to let your kids crash and burn" because I was going to stay out of it.

But when Peter got in the car yesterday I casually mentioned the two math projects trying hard to be very laid back so as not to incite his anger.  He said that he had the mini-project almost done and that he was aware the big project was due on Thursday and not Friday as I had been thinking all along.  He said he let me keep thinking that so I would get off his back.


He came home and finished the mini-project and got the big project almost completed.  I guess just because he's not doing things the way I want him to do them doesn't mean he doesn't have them under control.

It's funny how we all have our different styles.  Dan will not rest or do anything enjoyable until every last bit of work he has to do is completed.  I, on the other hand, prefer to work, take a break, work, take a break, etc. until I am done with what I need to get done.  Peter, however, prefers to play, play, relax, play, play, relax, play, relax, and then work, work, and work.

I guess as long as this style works for him, I just need to back off just as the counselors suggested.  But y'all - it's hard.

I'm trying though. But don't think I'm not going to casually mention the religion project on Friday afternoon.  I am still a very old dog after all...


Gigi said...

We have all been there - by my VERY informal poll, it seems this is the way with most boys. Mine didn't see the "point" in turning in homework (that he had completed!) in middle school. In 9th he was a tiny bit better and by the end of 10th grade, he finally realized the "point" (college!) and figured out.

But yes, the letting them crash and burn is hard but necessary.

Madeline said...

Oh goodness. I hope the projects are done as you read this!! And yes, I would casually mention it too and our homework at this point involves reading aloud and cutting out pictures that start with a letter...

me said...

And this is why I hate the online access to homework and all that stuff the schools have now. If we're supposed to be letting the kids handle it, why put it out there? I feel so pressured to look at stuff, the kids want me to leave it alone, and some teachers aren't very good about using it. I liked it better when the kids wrote things down in an agenda every day. It was an interaction between student and teacher, and the responsibility was developed in the classroom. Now, they're making us nag our kids for them? Ugh.
My current boy freshman had a rough patches in jr high - doing the work and not handing things in, forgetting to take notes, but he's grown into responsibility now. Mostly so I don't nag him!

Busy Bee Suz said...

I'm giggling at the three different types of work ethic. I'm with, rest, work, rest.....
It's tough, but you've got to let him figure it out even if he falls flat sometimes. It builds character. :)
Do you remember when you were in 9th grade? Yeah, no one asked me about any school work either; we just did it. (Or we didn't)
You can do this Beth! ;)