August 11, 2005

Boys, Not Saints

My blog brother, That1Guy, had a post today on people who think their children do no wrong, HERE. He was talking about a friend of his whose parents never thought he did wrong and felt that it is becoming a more prevalent attitude in society. He also said his parents weren’t like that.

I’m not either.

Ask me about my boys and I’ll say, “I’m raising boys, not saints”. Boys get in trouble. It is up to me as a parent to guide mine to make sure if they make the incorrect choices, should the situation arise, they will make the correct choice next time.

Yesterday, in Son#1’s folder, I received a piece of stationery with a note attached from his 5th grade teacher saying, “I don’t know your child. Please write me some things about your child that you think I need to know.” She had suggestions.

I wonder how many notes she got that said, “Love, love, love, butterflies, rainbows and perfect children”. Bah. Not me. My note included sentences like this:

“My son will not be the one who will give you behavioral problems in class. He laughs readily, but is quiet.”

“Should you find that Son#1 is reading his textbook intently while you are teaching the lesson, feel free to walk up behind him and look over his shoulder, for more than likely, he will have a book within his text book, reading something not pertaining to your lesson plan. He is a voracious reader.”

“Son#1 is very bright. Our challenges this year will not be academic; rather they will be more along the lines of organization and motivation. He gets bored and will quit doing his work. He has poor organizational skills. My challenge with him this year will be to get him to be more organized and to ensure he does his work, even if he is uninterested.”

There you have it. There are things I know he won’t do. He won’t pick fights. He won’t intentionally hurt someone’s feelings. But if the last two years are any indication, come 3rd quarter, he’ll quit turning in his classroom assignments and will not do his homework. His test scores will be high… without studying… but his grades will suffer as he’ll just flat not do his work. Or he’ll lose his classwork in his mess of a desk.

I’ve let him know. His grades are HIS responsibility. I passed 5th grade. Should he choose to not do well for lack of trying, it is MY responsibility to make sure he sees the light. I have no qualms doing that.

Posted by Boudicca at August 11, 2005 08:44 PM | TrackBack

I hope I do as well! Geeze, I can't even get my kids to sleep. ;-)

Posted by: vw bug at August 11, 2005 09:03 PM

I can identify with your son. I was the same was in the lower grades-aced every test but refused to do the homework because I figured it was a waste of time. Bored sillly but unlike your son I became a rowdy-not a trouble maker just one who shot off his mouth when he should have been listening and trying to be the class clown-hell, have not changed any either for that matter. I was never challenged until I was an adult in night school trying to earn a degree and I learned then how to learn. Wish now my parents had had an option for a different school when I was a kid and they told me in later years that they had wished so also. They sound like fine boys and I know you are proud of them. Congrats!

Posted by: GUYK at August 11, 2005 09:13 PM

You are an excellent parent who really knows her kids. I admire that...

Posted by: Jody Halsted at August 12, 2005 01:59 PM

I'm constantly amazed at parents lack of knowledge of their children's true self and spirit. It is really alarming and bodes poorly for this generation of kids.

I always correspond with my three boys' teachers in the same way you do. I'm never one to list all of their positive attributes ad nauseum - the teachers will pick up on those soon enough - they're good boys. However, it's their shortcomings that should be brought to their attention so that the teachers can subtly guide them in the right direction from day one. I try to balance each good attribute with one that needs work.

Such as: Son A has a fantastic memory and can be counted on to remember anything he hears and can be a wonderful helper to you in this way. He also is impatient and rushes through his work and doesn't do his best unless he is encouraged to take his time.

That way the teachers know that I know my boys and nothing they do will surprise me UNLESS it is something that goes against their normal behavior. I almost 100% always support the teacher in any situation unless I can prove that they have been unreasonable or unfair in some way. So many parents immediately take the side of their child without even batting an eyelash. I find that sad and ultimately sends the child the wrong message - not "I support you no matter what", but "It doesn't matter what you do I'll always get you out of it."

Teachers love me. I respect them and the, in my eyes, impossible task they have in working with children. They are always impressed with my notes and comments and tell me that I really know my kids. I think this surprises them moreso because they are triplets and I make it a point to showcase their differences and to encourage everyone to realize that they are three distincly different people.

Good job, Bou. I love reading about you and your boys - except for the age differences, it's like reading about my own.

Posted by: Momotrips at August 12, 2005 02:48 PM

Yeh. I can relate to Son#1. School, whenever I wasn't allowed to just explore, read andf learn on my own, was boooooooring: early prison for kids. A book a day "hidden" behind a text book(why read the text books again since I'd usually done that a couple of years before when my older sister was passing through that grade?)

Lousy student. Absolutely lousy. Lousy grades in any subject where homework was a part of the grade.

College? Boring classes saw me only for tests. (Lost a lotta grade points for skipping class--old school college). Mediocre student.

Now, grad school was a challenge... and fun.


Keep after him. He'll probably still be easily bored by the current "no child left behind" stupidity (which translated really means: slow down the bright students so the laggards can keep up), but if he can learn discipline in his studies now, he'll be glad later.

Posted by: David at August 12, 2005 09:14 PM