Is it normal for a mother to encourage her child to NOT worry about school and grades? Because my child? Is going to give herself an ulcer worrying about her grades. My straight A+ child.
I’ve already had to limit her access on the computer for the purpose of checking her grades. She’s found a way around that since the students all received their laptops a couple of weeks ago – she just uses that and checks at school or when I’m not paying attention to what she’s doing. She will check her grades multiple times daily, if allowed, just to make sure nothing has dropped.
Last week she called to ask if she could stay after school for “math help”. I was on the other phone with P-Man and he heard my end of the conversation. When I got back on the line with him our conversation went something like this:
Him: The Diva is staying after school?
Him: For math help?
Him: Isn’t she getting an A+ in that class?
Turns out she stayed not because she needed help, but because anyone who stayed got to start their quiz early AND got three extra points added to their grade. I asked her just how much higher she could go than where she already is and she just gave me her “Mom, you’re so dumb” shrug. Want to know what she got on her quiz? You know you do. She got 107. She aced the quiz, answered a bonus question correctly, and the three extra points.
Last night she attended a sleepover party. A little before 9:00 PM she texted me to ask me if her laptop was charging. I texted back “Don’t worry about it you are at a party. Have fun!” Her response was “Ok, but could you plug it in please?”
Don’t get me wrong, I am super proud of her. Clearly, she did not get her genius IQ from me. I can still help her with homework, so that must be saying something about my intelligence level. (No, seriously, I know a lot of parents who CAN’T help their 7th graders with homework. It’s beyond them.) Yet the fact that she is so overly worried about her grades, in turn worries me greatly. That’s a lot of stress and pressure for twelve years old. I can’t even imagine what her book bag weighs every day, because she brings home every. single. book. she. has. Just in case. I’ve asked her to stop carrying everything home, to bring home just what she needs – if nothing else, for the sake of her back. She agreed, but I still see her heft her bag onto her back every morning and I KNOW she has extra books in there.
So is it wrong? Is it wrong for me to try to get her to chill out just a little? Anyone who has read this knows I didn’t apply myself in school. I could have done really well for myself back then had I put forth a little more effort. I don’t want her to take the same route I did, especially since I know she has much more potential than I ever did…but I also don’t want her so stressed out that she has a meltdown in high school – or before.
Encouraging without pushing, suggesting without nagging. It’s a fine line and I’m not doing a very good job of knowing which side I’m on.
If the human brain were so simple that we could understand it, we would be so simple that we couldn’t. ~Emerson M. Pugh