So frustrated!

Pre-teens are TOUGH. PT and I got into it last night. I got home from work and my FIL was with her, playing a board game. They said homework was all done, and everyone seemed really relaxed. To make everything even better, PT broke the bow for her Viola so she can’t play (HALLELUJAH!). Isn’t that awful? I just cannot stand it when she plays viola, it makes me want to kill myself. And the dog howls too, so it isn’t just me. Anyway, we were relaxed and happy, PT was a little chatty and hyper. She sat with me while I cooked dinner (I made a huge pot of soup from the roasted chicken I made the other night…nothing like homemade chicken soup!). She helped me peel potatoes and carrots and we were getting a long great.

Then TW called on his way home from work and I guess he asked more questions about homework. OOOPS. PT then announced she had a vocab test the next day, but she forgot the book. I could hear TW yelling on his end of the phone (this is a a struggle we have two or three times a week: PT decides she doesn’t need to bring a book home from school because she did the homework and thinks she is ready for the test without studying). We get in fights about it all the time. We tell her that she HAS to bring the book home even if she thinks she is ready and that it doesn’t hurt to study a little more. But then the next time, she doesn’t bring her book home….again.

Last night was so frustrating. PT told her dad that she was ready for the vocab test and that is why she didn’t bring her book home. She needed to know the definitions, synonyms and antonyms for 20 words. So TW told her to write it all down. And guess what. She only remembered 10 words and only the meanings for three of them. GOOD JOB. The test was first thing in the morning, so it wasn’t like she could study at recess or lunch.

And the most infuriating part? PT has a “student planner” where she is supposed to write down all her homework assignments, tests, etc. When you look in that damned planner, she draws smiley faces all over the place, writes down things like, “Bake Sale” and “PE” but she doesn’t think to write “Vocab Test” down. I asked her why she doesn’t write her vocab tests down, and her response was, “We have a vocab test every Friday, so why do I need to write it down?” ARRRRRGHHHH!

We are trying to tell her that good study habits are SO important before 7th grade starts. She doesn’t care, or doesn’t get it. It is so hard for me because I was such a good student, I ate it all up, I studied extra, I did all my homework, I got extra credit, it just came so easy for me. So I don’t get this satisfaction with mediocrity that PT has. She brought a report card home and it was filled with B- and C+ and was totally happy with it. I know that the report card isn’t horrible (it could be way worse), but we know she has the potential to get all A’s. She just doesn’t care.

This is one place where we see how little influence we actually have. PT is with us half the time.  Her mother doesn’t do homework with her, doesn’t check it, doesn’t ask if it is done. So half the time, PT is left to her own devices. The other half the time, we are trying to make up for that. It is TOUGH.

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6 Responses to “So frustrated!”

  1. swim Says:

    Oh my. I can understand your frustration. I have a nephew who is the same, he is happy to just coast through without a care for getting into college.

    My confession – I was kind of like them… I was very unmotivated to do anything more than pass in high school. I was so bored with school and found no challenges in the work. Luckily I realized that I couldn’t get into a decent college with ok grades and excellent SAT scores and shaped up a little (just enough). If I could do it all over…

    Good luck 🙂

  2. Chris Says:

    Oh jeez, that is tough! As a teacher, yours is s frustration that I share. I wish I had some answers for you. Have you tried rewarding her for writing everything in her planner for the week? In the meantime, keep doin’ what you are doin’ and don’t let up.

  3. PamelaJeanne Says:

    Developing good studying habits is so essential to succeeding later in life and seeing someone who has potential not apply it would challenge me to the extreme. Doesn’t her mother understand that it’s her job not to allow such mediocrity to go unchecked? Sigh. Why is it babies come to slackers?

    P.S. Viola practice would send me around the bend, too. My sister tried for about three weeks and decided it wasn’t her instrument (thankfully!)

  4. Ashley Bass Says:

    I praise you for your efforts in trying to teach PT the importance of school work. I know I wish my parents would have been a bit more involved and forceful with me. It may not seem like it now, but it will make a difference for her. Good luck!

  5. Freyja Says:

    Ugh. How frustrating!

  6. Cece Says:

    Blech. Damn kids.

    : )

    Tagged you for a meme – hope you don’t hate those.

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