Feb 2, 2006, 10:53 PM | From My Journal
I’m sitting here drinking my diet Stewart’s root beer waiting for the day to end.
Craig is in his room crying because he doesn’t want to sleep.
It’s ten p.m. he’s going to go to sleep. (Even if daddy accidentally let him nap until 7 p.m.) Jared is in his room crying because his room just ended.
That’s right, his room – not his life or world. His dad is in the garage making space for all the boxes Jared’s room is going to fit in.
His books, his videos, toys, posters, his favorite character t-shirts and his comics are all going to be nicely, neatly packed away until further notice.
The seventh grade hasn’t gotten any easier for me. It has for him because he’s quit remembering it.
He forgets his homework, forgets to study for tests, forgets to do his work in class (he just sits there), forgets to keep a library book in his backpack for silent reading time, he forgets to read his assigned book for his report, he forgets show me his referral slip, and forgets to go the tutoring class he’s assigned to.
I’m sure some of this is his age but that doesn’t make it acceptable. We don’t physically punish the boys (unless you count pulling weeds) and I don’t like yelling. Besides, yelling only makes him tune out.
I knew the referral was coming.
Jared has been blessed with a teacher who really tries hard for him. She has an overflowing class, limited time and resources, but still takes the time to e-mail me frequently on his progress.
She’s frustrated. I’m frustrated; I can only imagine what half a day with Jared daily does to her. I only deal with the three hours of homework (which would be 30 minutes if he just tried).
We talked about options to get Jared’s attention last week. So you see, a referral wasn’t out of the blue for me. Perhaps it was for him but not for me.
When I got home I approached Jared calmly. I asked to see the referral and the details of the referral. I figured it was important to listen to what he had to say.
He didn’t say anything. He blew me off by shrugging his shoulders and acting like he was falling asleep. I did get a bit ‘lecture-y’ at that point, but I never raised my voice.
Jared has lived with me long enough he should know better.
When I’m mad and extremely calm trouble’s coming. I already had a plan of action worked out before I ever entered his room. I guess I wanted him to ‘talk about’ trying harder so I wouldn’t have to enact it. What ever. Too late now buckaroo.
Sunday his room is getting packed up and stacked up. He has thirty days to try harder. If he improves he earns a box back. He’ll earn them back one at a time.
I’ve been feeling the angst of him not doing his work. I’ve given up my free time, when he should be sleeping, to helicopter over him and help.
I’ve communicated with his teacher extensively. It all really comes down to this: He doesn’t want to do it. He won’t even try.
So now it’s time to flip the coin. He gets to feel the angst while I get to slide through the 7th grade. I can’t make him try. However, I won’t make it easy for him to fail either. He can cry with frustration and anger until he gets it right.
At the moment I’m sure he’s more focused on how much he hates me. That’s okay. I’ll love him through it. That’s what parents do right?