Gratitude Day Seven:
Today I'm grateful that things aren't as bad as they could be.
I've put myself in the bad mom doghouse.
It started a couple weeks ago with emails from one child's math teacher and lots of extra work to get that child on track in math. Just when we thought we had the math issues under control, that child's report card came and it was BAD (math was OK with a B- but seriously, how do you get an F in music and in art? Or a D in Spanish when you speak it quite fluently?). We knew this child was a little lazy sometimes with turning in work and found most things to be so easy that challenges often led to quick frustration. But we didn't know it was this bad. In the last little while, this child has also had some issues with lack of judgement in a couple situations that have got us worried.
Then we got an email last week from the teacher of our child who's report card actually looked much better than usual and who seemed to be finally in a good routine of accomplishing homework more quickly and well after years of hard work. This email said that this teacher and other teachers at the school would like to meet with me and Jared because they've noticed a pattern of disruptive classroom behavior and sloppy work. So we're working on getting that meeting set up and debating about whether to accompany this child to all his classes to see first hand what is going on.
Then later in the week, the twins came home with a note from their teacher saying they were being disruptive and not following directions in class. They've always been model students and their teachers have raved about how "perfect" they are in school. So getting this note was pretty disheartening - especially after all the other issues. We had some good talks with the twins and I'm talking to the teacher today about whether they can read when they get done with their work quickly so they won't be disruptive (seems they get disruptive when they finish early and get bored).
Argggggg! What am I doing wrong? I have had to be gone once in a while for work and I'm probably distracted too much but I'm generally here every afternoon sitting right with the kids doing their homework and we do reading time and scripture time and have good structure and clear rules plus we try to make sure there's lots of unstructured time for fun and creativity. But wow, this parenting stuff can sure be humbling sometimes and I can definitely see places we need to improve. We've got one child who seems to be doing totally fine in school but I'm looking over my shoulder for a note from that child's teacher any day now! Please no!
So today I'm glad things aren't worse with our kids. We are so blessed. We've never had to deal with more than minimal behavior and academic problems with our children. Our kids are healthy and don't have any special needs (although I'm learning that there's a whole set of "special needs" that come along with a kid heading into puberty - their ability to focus and get things done seems to diminish drastically while their emotions ramp up considerably).
But I guess this disheartening and humbling string of events is what we need to get more serious about some things around here.
What are you grateful isn't worse than it is?