Monday, September 10, 2012

have you seen Junior's grades?

Yesterday, I noted that Wolfgang almost didn't attend his cross country meet this past weekend.  That case was preceded by this conversation:

"You can't go".

"But I hafta be there".

"No you don't".

"I really need to".

"No you don't.  We had an agreement"

"I know but..."


"Please can I go?"

"No, we had an agreement".

"Please can I go?"

I'd gone online to check his grades earlier in the day and found that he had 3 assignments missing.  The trouble with Wolfgang is that he's a smart kid, but he can be lazy if he doesn't "see the point".  Such is the case when he ends up with missing assignments.

Yes, it's happened before.  That's why we had The Agreement.  That's why I was checking in the first place. In reality, I'm not cut out for helicopter parenting.

So before we got stuck in a "Please can I go?" loop, I asked why he hadn't turned in those assignments.  I will spare the blog the whiny details, but some of it actually made for a decent argument.

After sleeping on it, though, I still think he should just do the work.

I know it's not that he doesn't understand the material, he's just not that motivated.  He pretty much owned the ACT he took last year as a junior, so maybe he's a little bored.

When I was his age, there were naturally, classes and school activities I liked more than others.  I was also very active in school, and I knew if my grades slipped, I would have to cut back on the extra-curriculars.  So I just did it all to keep the peace.  It wasn't so bad.  

In the end, we let him go to the meet.  He knows he's on "probation", and there's another meet this coming weekend.   He knows the "but I hafta" response will be met with a "no, you can just e-mail your coach... or I can"  doom DOOM DOOM!

Did you think school was easy? What did you enjoy the most?  The least?


  1. We have the exact same conversations at our house. And our kids end up on probation every time. Some parenting skills I have....
    I was a pretty good student in school, but I worked at it. And I ALWAYS did my homework. I hated getting in trouble. My favorite subject was spelling and all the workbook pages that went with it. That might explain my love of words and word games today.

    1. Aha, a gamer and spelling buff!

      A problem I have with Wolfgang is that he's so darn like me (other than the lazy thing). He only gets lazy in classes where he doesn't like the teacher. When I get on him about it, he'll show me a funny and perfect portrait he drew of the disliked teacher when he should have been working. How can I lay down the law with that?!

  2. I hated school with a passion.

    I was very good at a lot of the work, but I just hated the crowds, the noise, the other kids! (well only most of them)

    When I later found out that I have dyspraxia (when my daughter was diagnosed) it all made sense, but at the time it was hell on earth.

    1. Interesting how a diagnosis like that can have it all make sense later on. There seems to be a camp of people who thought school was "hell on earth", and then they go on to do great things. We think of the as late bloomers, but maybe it was the whole school atmosphere just didn't agree with them.

  3. We were lucky. My son was pretty much a nerd (like his parents) and did his work on time and in good shape and kept good grades, although there were a few times some motivation needed to be applied.
    I was pretty good as well in school - typical math/science geek. Did football for 2 years, tried out for drama, never really found my niche.

    1. This makes sense - the math/science, the football. Drama is not something I would've guessed about you. It's not surprising that your son did well in the nerd mode. Our kids are all pretty nerdy too, with Wolfgang being affected the least. He should work on that.

  4. School was easy for me - at least the academics part. Socially, I was shy and awkward, so I definitely did not love it, but I had no trouble getting through it.

    Two of our kids managed their school work and social lives quite nicely. The other was the polar opposite. I felt sorry for him and was just as anxious for him to be done with it all as he was. And no amount of agreements, bribery or punishment could motivate him to JUST TURN IN HIS WORK! So glad to be past all that.

    1. I'm always a bit surprised when you talk about being "shy and awkward" when you were younger. Look atcha now!

    2. Me too - when I first read Terri's blog I pictured her as the head of the cheer leaders or something!

  5. School was always easy. But from mid high school through college, I hated it. I enjoyed class time and most reading and even papers, but I hated other sorts of homework. It all seemed like busy work to me. I usually only did exactly what was required of me and no more. I never studied. But I always passed.

    And now because my degree is all but useless, I consider going back to school. But then I remember and I shudder.

  6. School was a thing to get "checked off" of the list of things to do on the way to adulthood.

    Teachers put me on the fast track in "junior high school," but I begged my mother to let me get out of them. Eventually, she did. And that is the reason why I nag my children to understand the "why" of education so they might enjoy it more than I did.

    Thank God my data processing teacher dangled a big dollar sign in my face to get me on the road to becoming a computer programmer.

    Keep being a nag or whatever word you choose; although, we all seem to make our own way somehow and Wolfgang will. I have no regrets for dodging the excelerated classes; just catching up now in my old age. Life is good. :)