Fair warning: this is a step mom rant. I wasn’t sure if I should post this, but I finally decided to share a few things about what the hubby and I have been dealing with recently. I know I’m not the only one going through this, so I hope that sharing my situation may help anyone else who is going through something similar.
What situation? Well, Teen1 recently turned 18. He is supposed to be graduating this May. Yes, supposed to be. Right now, he as 3 Ds and is failing English.
The problem is that Teen1 is ridiculously intelligent. In fact, I will argue that he is too smart for his own good. So, he gets As on his tests and in-class assignments, then gets zeros for his homework. He just doesn’t bother to do them.
Here is an example of what I’m talking about.
Me: So, I’m going to take away your Internet privileges for the next ten days. It’s a punishment for your grades, first of all. Second, the Internet is a distraction for you and you need to learn to step away from it in the future if it’s too tempting. Hopefully next time you don’t want to do homework you’ll say, “Hm, well I don’t want to go without the Internet again, so I’ll take ten minutes and do my homework first.”
Teen1: That’s not true. I can be on the Internet and do my homework at the same time.
Me: Ok, so why haven’t you been doing that?
Teen1: (Shrugs) I don’t want to. It’s stupid and I already know the material.
Me: Well, I’m not surprised you already know the material. Homework assignments aren’t just about learning the lesson for the day. They are also to help you develop a routine of doing work first before play that will help create a good work ethic for your adult life.
Teen1: No, it doesn’t. I don’t need to do it. When I get paid then I’ll do menial work. I don’t get paid, so it’s stupid.
Me: Dude, you have a cell phone, a car, insurance, allowance, and gas money. Not to mention a roof over your head, food on the table, and clothes on your back. They don’t spring up out of thin air.
Teen1: You’re my parents. You have to do those things.
Me: Seriously? That’s what you think?
Teen1: Yes! (Getting mad now) Besides, I don’t need a piece of paper (meaning his high school diploma) to prove myself.
Let me interject that the conversation above is abbreviated. I also thought of really clever and witty things to say once he stormed out of the room, but of course, it was the next day while he was in school.
Now, we do have a parent/teacher conference set up this week. Teen1 will have to sit down with his dad, mom, teachers, and his guidance counselor. I am pretty sure he’s never had to deal with something like this before so I am curious about what kind of outcome this will yield. In the meantime, he has limited access to the Internet and his car. I have emailed all of his teachers and heard back from 4 out of the 5 that I emailed. I have gone over a plan of action with Teen1, which he grudgingly said he would do. Maybe.
Meanwhile, I’m breaking out, grinding my teeth at night, not sleeping very well, gaining weight (that has nothing to do with increase in chocolate in my diet, I swear), and getting headaches on a daily basis. Oy. I guess it’s time to go back to the gym.
Maybe Teen1 will graduate AND I will look good in a bikini by May. Let’s hope. P.S. Please feel free to leave me any nuggets of information or advice you think may help. Please. I beg you.