Tuesday, December 18, 2007



I am ashamed to admit it.. but I left the high school presentation after reading the programme and realising that for the first time since starting high school, #1 wasn't actually receiving any academic or merit award for her year. She was receiving a 'Thank You' award for -after being invited to do so - helping a Year 10 student with a disability in her exams, as a sort of 'scribe'. (For which she missed a lot of her own classes...) This is all well and good... and it was an honour to be asked to do it.. but...

What kind of a parent am I? A disappointed one, that's what. (One who couldn't face sitting through a 2 hour presentation gig when she was stewing.) Thing is, she herself actually assumed that she'd be getting an academic award. Again. As usual. "Meh, Mum, you don't really need to come.. I mean, I get these twice a year..." (Or maybe she knew she wasn't and didn't want to say anything.) She was always in the group that got both 5 or more Merit and Academic awards. And suddenly? *pouf*... None.

I have railed on here about our travails with her Maths Attitude... and the agonising over how to deal with it. I've queried with her the apparent lack of homework being done at home, and got 'Get off My Back" and "I do it when you don't see me" in return. Not wanting to push too hard, but at the same time not wanting her to be a lazy cow, and waste her ability, it's been a tightrope from which I've slipped repeatedly...

She has basically just slid on the grease of being naturally bright... She had a good ride in the little pond of primary school, culminating in a run up to getting Dux. She even got a dream run through the first couple of years of the big pond that is high school, putting little or no effort into it.. and coming away with easy high grades. But now she's run out of grease. Suddenly she's actually got to do some work... and I wonder whether she even knows how to do it...

I know only too well how your 'star' can burn out.... Mine got me through to the end of Year 12, then fizzled and spluttered (through lack of a goal more than anything else.) Academic performance isn't everything... but making an effort and "doing your best" is what I'm sure every parent hopes for their child.

Whether next year she chooses to pull her finger out and make the most of high school is up to her... The only thing we can do as parents is to tighten things up a bit. Not the least of which will be some changes made to the previous free rein she had with the computer and TV.

This parenting gig is a tough one sometimes...
Oh Tracie - good luck with that. I did much the same as her and ended up making to Uni by the skin of my teeth. It hasn't hurt me in the long term, but things have changed somewhat in the last 20 years (or so). How about cash for good grades? I know we shouldn't have to pay them to work for their own betterment, but some kind of reward system might help.

Alternatively, get her to spend a week over the holidays working in the grottiest place you can think of, doing the most boring job, and point out this can be avoided by getting the right qualifications...
Oh yes, and restrict any allowance she gets to a pro-rata'd amount of what she would earn in that place. Now that might hurt...
At some point, the decision becomes hers, and all you can do is sit back and hope.
Ahhhh music to my ears! YES I am also walking the dreaded tightrope with the high school teen and next year the modem and Austar card are coming with me to work so homework might get done. One can only hope that all the 'good' things we have taught them over the years are remembered. Wasn't 0-5 a breeze compared to 12-18ish!
We have recently found that our most effective discipline tool has been the remote control for the television - long may that last!
Don't be too hard on her though. There's some tough years ahead.
I'm sure she's fully aware of what's going on, really. As you said, she is a smart one.
I'm in total agreement with Rootietoot.
Be proud that you have a girl who was given an award because she is basically a caring person. You know she's a bright young woman, in the next few years she can pick or choose the subjects that are right for her. Of course you can stand over your children and make them do their homework, but what she makes of it is up to her. I sometimes think that one of the worst things we can do for our children is to make them anxious about their achievements.
I'm all about finding the right balance. While I understand the self-determination thing, I'm not going to stand back and let her run off the rails either. I'd like to be able to "gently" guide her into the HSC years. We're talking 14 years old here!

Turns out that the subjects she trashed in have teacher issues. Her report looks like it could be referring to different students, depending on the subject (or rather teacher.) - either totally brilliant (English) or "talkative and easily distracted" (Science) The Science teacher she's had this Semester is a casual replacement for one who retired; he is a PE teacher, doesn't know his science stuff, and keeps putting videos on. I suppose I don't blame her.. but she needs to find a mature way to deal with the situation.

We have talked, and I said that I understood her issues, but that I'd rather her talk to us about them at the beginning of term so that we could do something about it, rather than her just chucking in the towel.

She is doing fine in the subjects she can choose (and that she likes)...

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