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Parenting Limbo

I found out last week that my daughter was getting an F in algebra. For more than two weeks, she hadn't been doing her homework and lying when asked whether she had any. But then we found out that she had been leaving algebra class early every day in order to help in the school cafeteria. Helping in the school cafeteria is part of her Student Leadership class, and she is graded on the amount of service she does. She's getting an A+ in that class.

The upshot was that she was grounded until she brought the algebra grade up to a B. She spent the whole of last weekend at home missing several fun things, because she was doing her algebra homework. As of Tuesday, her math teacher informed me that her grade now stands at a C. This is an improvement, but the agreement was that she raise it to a B.

Yesterday, I got a call from her friend's mother. Peaches was supposed to be spending all of this weekend at the friend's house, and the mother was really looking forward to my daughter's visit. She was calling and petitioning an exception. I explained the situation to her, only to have a grown woman - a parent - whine to me about how it didn't seem fair.

What the hell is happening to adults? When did grownups turn into such a bunch of milquetoasts when it comes to discipline? First the math teacher who seems singularly incapable of saying "No, you may not leave my class before it's over," then the student council teacher who allows her to neglect her academic classes in favor of Advanced Food Service, and then another parent intimating that I'm being "unfair" by establishing rules and sticking to them.


I'm disgusted. I'm disappointed. I'm angry at having to justify myself and my parenting methods to people who think that the result of those methods, my daughter, is so wonderful that they feel cheated at being deprived of her presence.

Come on, people! Discipline is a GOOD THING. The word comes from the Latin discipulus, which means student. It means TO TEACH. Showing your children that there are consequences for actions, good and bad, is not punishing. It's teaching. When you teach your child that failing to do what's expected of him/her results in loss of grade, loss of privileges, etc., that's not punishment. That's teaching a lesson that's best learned now, while the stakes are small. At my age, failure to perform results in loss of job, which results in loss of house, car, etc.

Okay, okay, I'm done ranting. But seriously, I want to make a parenting handbook for all of these bozos. It's driving me nuts.


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 20th, 2005 04:58 pm (UTC)
Yes, I think the prevailing belief, especially among those who don't have or like children, is that the problem with most kids is that adults don't know how to be adults....

Good for you for keeping Peaches in line.
May. 20th, 2005 05:15 pm (UTC)
that shit is FUCKED UP.

and people wonder why testing scores are low and why kids don't want to learn. because it's not innate, people, a love of learning is something you have to, you know, learn.

please give the parent in question a punch in the head for me.
May. 20th, 2005 09:43 pm (UTC)
Well, this helps me to understand what the hell is wrong with half the people my age.
May. 20th, 2005 10:15 pm (UTC)
I'm with you, and I don't have kids or teach them. Now that I'm "with" a teacher, though, I've certainly had my eyes opened. He was devestated when a concert he slaved over was attended by only 20 of the 55 kids slated to participate. Apparently, most of those absent were participating in a Little League game instead. OK, music isn't important to everyone, but disappointing your friends and following up on your commitments should be.

I think you are right to stick to your guns. Discipline is very important, and so is keeping your word.
May. 21st, 2005 12:35 am (UTC)
Brava for good parenting. The mother's attitude just floors me. The teacher's attitudes are... unbelievable. Simply unbelievable.
May. 21st, 2005 05:28 am (UTC)
I love kids, and yours are particularly charming. I back up your discipline methods -- you give your kids lots of love, consistent rules, and reasonable consequences. This is a good thing.
May. 21st, 2005 03:10 pm (UTC)
We had an F in Geography and an F in English. I've taken to emailing the teachers, with return receipt, and saying "How's Felix doing?" I can't believe that some read the note and ignore it.

We had a total lockdown. I can't believe another parent would call you and whine like that. I guess it shows who's the boss in that house.

I still think that we are the majority!
May. 22nd, 2005 05:31 pm (UTC)
I'm hoping we are in the majority. I can't be sure, though, because my daughter is such a soft-hearted and compassionate kid that she always ends up befriending the kids who get in trouble, wanting to bring them home and teach them how to be more successful (I get petitioned at least once a week "Can So-and-so come over and do her homework here? She can't work at home because of [insert messed-up family situation here]."), so I end up having a skewed view of what other parents are doing.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )