Wednesday, October 28, 2009

I haven't decided if making my son cry makes me a good parent or a terrible one.

Judge for yourself:

"J--, I forgot to sign your school notebook last night. Bring it here along with your homework so I can sign them before we leave for school."

The Intuitive plops down his backpack. I leaf through his papers, sign everything and take a moment to check his homework.

"'ve made a couple of mistakes on this math worksheet. I don't think you understood what you were supposed to do. Your math answers are right, but you were supposed to be looking for a specific answer."

"Don't tell me!"

"Don't tell you what?"

"Don't tell me the answers!"

"I'm not telling you the answers....I'm telling you that you made a few mistakes."

"That's cheating! You're making me a cheater!"


"Everybody else will get them wrong and I'll have them all right...all because you made me cheat!"

"I'm not making you cheat."

"Yes you are! I'm not going to change them!"

" are!"

The Intuitive proceeds to crying and wailing.

"Look....hon...I"m not trying to make you cheat. I'm not giving you the ans--"

"YES, YOU ARE!" he says with intensity.

"I'm going to go get ready to take you guys to school. You'd better be done with this and have it put it away before I come out of my room."

more wailing and crying.

So....have I raised a child who is so honest and independent that he refuses to accept any help?

Or...have I raised a child who is just as stubborn as his parents?

Or.....Am I just a terrible mother in general, causing her child to melt down over something completely insignificant.

I swear I can't tell the difference between those choices some days.


James F. McGrath said...

If you find out the answer to that question, let me know. The conversation you described sounds incredibly familiar, and so presumably whatever assessment you get of your parenting skills will apply to ours too...

Retriever said...

I can relate. After a couple of contretemps like this (where my face spoke volumes and my kid realized what I thought of the work) we agreed that we would not look at any of the homework until after it had been graded and returned by the teacher. That way, we could not ber accused of trying to influence or push a point of view with a raised eyebrow, a rhetorical question etc. I did offer my bibliographic services whenever requested, but the kids never took me up on them until one was taking AP Bio and I steered her to some specialized rsearch on PTSD, bipolar, and personality disorders that I had researched. Gave a quick overview of the (then) established authorities, debates between various schools, and key issues to make her own mind up about. Then left her to it.

We found that it was agonizing when they were in elementary and early middle school wanting to offer opinions and reactions, but NOT doing so. However, in the end they turned out very self-motivated students, did well.

If they are anything like their mama, your kiddies will do very well, and write fluently and persuasively!