Last week a podcaster that I follow asked for topic suggestions/ Q&A questions (in the working mom/parenting genre). I’ve had something on my mind lately that I truly think would make for a very interesting podcast episode:
“How do you handle it when your child is not just like you?”
In general, I think we can all agree that it can be frustrating when people don’t respond or act in the way WE might (the, you know, right way). 😉 But when it’s our own child acting in a way that we maybe just can’t even understand or relate to, it can be complicated…
This has been on my mind in relation to the boys’ attitudes toward school and homework. The end of the 1st quarter is nearing already (what? HOW??!), so school is well underway.
Ethan, specifically, just doesn’t seem to approach school in the way that I did when I was in school. Don’t get me wrong- he is a good student. His grades seem to be great so far and he actually seems to be stepping it up in middle school here too. I’m proud!
BUT. I’m seeing some major differences in his “student style” compared to what mine was, and this has been a struggle for me sometimes.
Student Me vs. Student Ethan
Student me: Pay close attention in class. Write everything down in my assignment notebook. Maybe confirm with the teacher that I have the homework pages down correctly. Make SURE that I do my homework every night, and probably the “optional” extra questions too. STUDY thoroughly for every test, probably a bit to excess. I need to be ready! Study a little more in the morning during breakfast or on the bus, just to be sure.
Student Ethan: I don’t need to write anything down. There was only one assignment today, and I remember it. Work diligently in class/ study hall to complete all work at school so I don’t have to bring anything home- who likes homework?! And why bring it home if I can finish it at school? Study for bigger tests as needed, but this just involves mostly reading over my notes a few times as I have a kind of freakishly good memory. Have my mom quiz me a few times and wrap it up. Smaller quiz tomorrow? Oh, I already know all of that stuff. No need to waste time studying again, since I already know it. It’ll be fine.
Gahhhhhhh! He is so different from me in this way that I just don’t even know what to do. I don’t want to micromanage him, and I KNOW I need to “let him test the waters” a bit to find his own style…. And he’s not totally wrong. If the point is to know the stuff for the test, and you do, and you ace the test, was it necessary to study more?? I guess not. But it just feels completely foreign to me.
The logical part of my brain says I probably need to back off a little (assuming that he is keeping up/ doing well) and let him learn by fire. He might learn naturally that his laidback system doesn’t quite hold up to the rigors of middle and high school (and maybe mom was right!). Or maybe it will and he will prove me wrong. 🙂
I am grateful for stretching! I decided to use the 2 minutes my tea water was heating to do a series of stretches this morning and it felt so great.