I'm so confused. I used to think that schoolwork issues were easy. Your kid is not doing the work... punishment. Call/email the teacher, call conferences ground the kid on and on...
I never miss an Open House I even have a binder I put my own copies of every syllabus, etc... handed out so i can grab it and show my daughter look at this. I was proud of that notebook, It showed my daughter what a caring and involved parent I was and of course look out I know what the deal is, kid! It made me feel good about my parenting.
Now, I'm so confused one day a thought popped into my head after the WH teacher emailed all of the parents about making sure our kids studied more. I thought WTH? Why do *I* have to make sure a 10th grader studies, does her work? Shouldn't she learn natural consequences? I won't be there when she's away at college to make her study.
BUT do I just wash my hands of this and let her deal with her natural consequences? I guess that would be a low GPA, failing a class?? WH is a hard class I used to read the chapters she was working on (I even emailed the teacher for the actual assignments b/c my daughter was never clear about that) Oh, the SHAME. Now I tell her if she asks me ahead of time I will read and *help* her study, but only if she asks.
And now the county gives parents access (internet) to each teacher's grade book. So now I can see the real story I never got in the past except at conferences.
I had a policy of I would check the site every so often and if she'd made a 0 (obviously hadn't turned in work) I'd ground her. Low grades on tests, etc... even F's hello natural consequences. OK natural consequences does this even register with a 15 yo kid? Probably not. It's terrible but I'm starting to wish she'd get held back this year.
I feel so confused, stupid, alone. What is the right thing to do? There has been so much screaming and stress. Tonight I was going to try calmness. I think I actually showed my utter wussiness.
Today her geometry teacher left a message on our machine, ____ hasn't brought her book to class the last 6 times, isn't bringing tools, is talking...
When she got home I had her listen to it. I expected her to make excuses, but this floored me. Her book is too heavy and I she uses the classroom one. She says she's not doing it!!!
I say OK, but you did hear the part where your teacher wants you to bring *your* book to class, apparently teacher doesn't care if there's a class book. Says she doesn't care not bringing the book!
I grit my teeth natural consequence I tell myself. Meanwhile she's on her phone all night texting/talking not a care in the world. and I feel like crying.
Denise's thoughts: She seems to have hit some type of speed bump in her school work, so yes, you will have to step in and put her back on the right road. Natural consequences work, I'd say, about 85% of the time. The other 15% parents have the responsibility to steer.
Give her an action plan, using a parenting contract, where she has the responsibility of getting good grades daily, doing her work and you get no calls from teachers. You will check-in with the school on the computer, if all is well, she keeps her cell phone until 9 or 10. If it is not, you take the cell for 24 hours, when you check-in again.
Be sure to explain that you are doing this so that she has her independence when it comes to school, but you have to expect certain grades.
Good luck and know that the other side of this is a happier teen and a happier you.
Asking our parenting community: Has your teen ever wander off the 'good kid' path? How did you get them back on track? Please share your thoughts, stories and advice in the comments area.