Thing 1, Unpublished

What Tornado?

Sorry for the lack of updates yesterday. Honestly? I kinda forgot about that post. After picking everyone up from their schools – I couldn’t really spend much time at the computer because NikkiZ was not taking a nap after all that excitement. Which means at 6:30pm she was in tears begging not to go to bed. Does anyone else’s kid do that? Resist sleep the more tired they are? On a normal night, bedtime is 7pm and she goes down without a fight. But last night she was preparing for a fight and broke out the tears and the hugs and the clings and said, “I’ll rest on the couch with Momma!” That’s something I let her do on nights we’re waiting for MrZ to get home before we go to bed, so she thought maybe it would work last night. And because I am a lazy Mom and didn’t want to fight her or listen to her cry in her crib, I gave in. After 42 seconds on the couch she was sound asleep.

But – aside from that – we had another kind of Tornado come through this week. The Report Card Tornado. It has the ability to destroy everything in our lives as well.

LilZ struggled with grades the first five years of school. I mean, he struggled which brought out a very ugly side of me as a mother. I have very little patience with academia because it came very easy to me in school. Finally, in 5th grade, we switched schools and he fell in with a smart crowd. The one with the kids who actually compete for good grades. He started being an A/B student on honor rolls and things were great. Unfortunately – that means since then that the previously regular bad grades are no longer accepted in our house. I challenged him this year to get straight As because I know he can do it. He came very close on the last report card, so I kept the challenge going. This report card? Let’s just say he didn’t get straight As.

But – the thing is – I was amazed at how he handled it. Every parent handles a bad report card differently and I think it also depends on how the child presents it. LilZ has learned, I guess, to give it to me immediately and to NOT make excuses. So, he got into the car and handed me his report card and his cell phone and said, “Here. No cell phone for a month. I understand.”

And was right on Target with that punishment. And I was very proud of how he handled it. He didn’t drag it out, he came up with his own punishment, and he took it very seriously with no excuses. I told him at the interim report (4 weeks) if all of his grades come up, he can have his phone back. Otherwise, it will take 9 weeks until the next report card comes out. But all in all? I’m okay with it. It sucks, mainly because all of his grades dropped, but I am still very happy with how he handled it.

Remember – I’m all about making lemonade.

19 thoughts on “What Tornado?”

  1. The little boy that I babysit for all the time often tells me “I have no dreams left in me” or “I have no more sleep” he usually fights to be put to bed, he is 4. He actually goes to the bed good but then he wants to talk, and I will stay with him for about 15 mins or so talking and reading. And hoping his brother (9 months) old will finally fall asleep, because he usually has to be rocked to sleep and if you don’t wait until the right moment and lie him in the crib? He will wake up and scream bloody murder. Yeah, one night a week is all I can handle. 😉 Don’t know how their mom does it.

  2. Aww, look at your kid growin’ up. I’m sure, since he knows he messed up, that he’ll start doing better pronto. Also ’cause I know he wants that phone back. 😉

  3. When I was in 7th grade I got an F in English for the first grading period. Instead of punishing me my mother took me shopping where I chose a sweatshirt that I loved and still have today, 23 years later. Oh, and I have a master’s degree in English. True story.

    I’m not saying don’t punish him. Just relating an experience. You’ve found what works for you and he’s obviously with the program. You’re doing a great job and everything is going to turn out just fine.

  4. My son Ben would constantly refuse to go to sleep if he was extremely tired. Oh the fits we had! They were amazing!

  5. well, it seems like he’s kicking ass in ‘the school of life.’

    when i was younger, my mom used to joke that she went to college at ‘the university of life experience.’ when i got to eleventh grade, i found that my brain had reached it’s saturation of the most math it could possibly learn, and i failed geometry one semester. i had never gotten less than a B, i was in honor’s society, etc…so, my mom was pretty freaked out, and was sure that the grade drop had something to do with the fact that i had gotten my own car and was pretty much never home anymore.

    i tried to make her feel better by explaining that i was getting an A in ‘life experience,’ but she didn’t buy it. i was grounded for a really long time.

  6. You must do SOMETHING right, because he is an amazing kid. BTW, I TOTALLY started using the term, “the first time” (as in, “please do what I ask the FIRST TIME”). It made so much sense to me; I was having to ask multiple times AND count to 3 and threaten a time-out for my 2 kids to do even simple, common tasks. I’m not saying they are perfect yet, but they are almost 3 and almost 5 and the understand my request. We’re always a work in progress, ya know?

  7. You do realize that you capitalized Target in the sentence “right on target.” That craps me up. Target is a proper noun around here too.

  8. You did a great job. It’s obvious that what you have taught him is that things have consequences. Chickie has struggled off and on with grades as well and in the last year or so, I haven’t had to ride her as hard about doing her homework. There are moments…but like you, I draw the line and she clearly knows where it’s at.

    Again, great job!

  9. “And was right on Target with that punishment.” Target. With capitals even when it’s not really a noun. I love it.

    LilZ is an amazing kiddo, Zoot … you got lucky there mydear!

  10. My goodness! Your kid goes to bed at 7 even after having a nap in the afternoon? Mine is the sleepless wonder! Goes to bed at 9:30, gets up at 7 and DOES NOT NAP!

  11. That boy certainly should be rewarded for his awesome integrity ~ but I would stick to the consequence until the mid term feedback session.

    My typical straight A son brought home two Bs. I hate to push him too hard but I know he can make those A’s. I almost wonder if he is getting to the age where he is starting to slack a bit. 6th grade 11 year old. Am I going to have to be a little stricter? Too bad I am making sure he gets into all AP classes next year in 7th grade.

  12. You’re raising a really great kid there. At his age he’s already learned some valuable lessons (and there are plenty of adults out there who NEVER learn them): tell the truth immediately; understand that your actions (or inactions) have consequences; step up and take the consequences and don’t whine about them. Heck, he’s even mature enough to suggest his own punishment that is reasonably proportionate to what happened. Everyone should be so fortunate to have a kid like that, or to have raised them that well. Good for both of you!

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