My son has finally cracked under the pressure.
What? you say...lets go back to February 15th. This brings us back to a time when I knew my son was struggling in school, yet was unaware of the full clusterfu** that it would become. Friday February 15th was the day that the The Teacher called. It was the day that a progress report come home and showed half of his assignments were missing... missing assignments leads to 0's.... 0's mean failing.
Eric was then put on punishment. I like that word. It sounds like it's painful. Any other time he has been on punishment, it hasn't fazed him. It took 18 days...18 days of no cartoons, 18 days of no computer time, 18 days of no video games, cell phones or Grandma weekends.
People...we are so serious we put the parental code on the TV just to make sure he wasn't sneaking in any unapproved shows. The only cartoons approved are ones that would drive anyone over the age of 5 insane... have you watched Bob the Builder? or as Mac would call it... Bub da Budder.
Eric was then instructed to produce any and all papers from his locker, class room, bed room and backpack. Dudes....we had a pile about 4 inches thick. Half of the pile was graded the remaining was unfinished or if it was finished, no grade. Why would you do the work and not turn it in? The grades he does get range from A's to C's... so as long as he turns it in then he's getting passing grades. I just don't understand the thought process when it comes to not completing an assignment.
Over the past 18 days he has been finishing the unfinished homework on top of his everyday homework. He mumbles and groans while sitting there for hours... and then protests that he shouldn't have to do it, it doesn't count, and wont go towards his grade. I DON'T CARE. You can't just forget about it...it wont go away and I certainly wont let you just slide by or say it's okay do better next time.
Last night he came to me and said... You know what I miss most? ... My cell phone.
I then asked if he understands now that I don't play around when it comes to work and school. I want him to understand that there are consequences for his actions. I don't ask for much. I don't push him to get A's (although I know he can), I don't push for sports or any other activities. I encourage him to try things and to do the best he can. If he just does his best then he'll be great at whatever he does.
He finally came to realize that only an hour a day of study time is completely doable compared to the 4 - 5 hours he's been experiencing. I then asked him if he will ever take for granted the privileges and freedoms we provide. "No Mom, this is horrible and I've learned my lesson."
We broke him. Finally. Punishment will continue until The Teacher has reported back a improvement. He has been begging The Teacher to send something home since Friday... it's a wait and see game now. I don't like having to do this to him, but what else is there? I then think back to my childhood and remind myself that we didn't have computers, video games and cell phones. If I lived through it, then I'm sure he will too.