My school-related frets: let me share them with you.
Rob. Sixth-grader. MIDDLE SCHOOL. I don't think I need to say more than that, because that is already plenty of fretting right there, but the more immediate problem is that he is getting some bad grades and making bad excuses. Like, when he got his first D on an English paper, he said, "I didn't realize what was expected," and I thought, "Good: he's learning now that he can't get away with slapdash anymore." But then he got his second D and he tried to hand me the same excuse. Oh dear me no. I don't mind a kid getting Ds anywhere NEAR as much as I mind a kid pulling a constant "It's not my fault."
So he and I had what I have seen amusingly referred to as a "come to Jesus" talk, and he was suppressing an embarrassed smile when I spelled out the concept that "Didn't realize" is a one-time-use excuse, so I hope that means he knew it was and won't keep doing it. And it's only October, and maybe he will now get it together. But I worry that he WON'T: we all like to think of our kids as excelling! and succeeding! and exceeding expectations for the sheer love of doing a good job! and yet a lot of kids NEVER DO. My father-in-law, in his late 60s, is STILL talking about how his grades didn't represent his sheer genius. And look at Jessica Simpson's parents, who claim that she got bad grades because she was SO academically gifted she was BORED in class (*wipes away tears of laughter*).
And MOST of his grades are still As and Bs, so THAT'S good. But it's like, As in the classes he's naturally good at, and Ds in anything that requires him to lift his pinky finger. I feel like this is a sink-or-swim transition for him: either he will fall in with expectations, or he won't, and I can lecture him night and day but HE has to start doing the work, and all I can do is wait around and see if he does or not. Not everyone ends up a Good Student, and Good Studentism is not the be-all and end-all anyway, and it's his life, and there really is still plenty of time to improve things even if he doesn't do so in sixth grade, and cliche aphorism truism cross-stitch.
I was going to list all the other frets, but I think they should be their own posts or this is going to be Too Much.
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