School

My daughter is unable to turn in her assignments.

I just got an email saying that two more pieces of work were not turned in. I want to stop punishing her, but she’s making it impossible. I’m torn between fury and empathy.

I feel badly for her because I know what it’s like to feel like school is getting the best of you, but I’m absolutely enraged as well. We’ve made huge sacrifices so that the kids can go to a swanky private school. I could have been on three round the world trips, first class, for what we’ve paid.

I don’t know if I should shake her or hug her. Right now I’m leaning towards shaking, with a small dose of ass kicking.

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Comments 15

  1. Take the world trips! And take her with you. If she’s hitting those teen years, she may benefit much more from being homeschooled, seeing the world, and getting plenty of mom time.

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  2. I was going to ask if it’s from the same folder that fell open but then I saw the comment by Julie.

    Eek, homeschooling is NOT an option for some people. For instance, me. If I had to teach my daughter on a daily basis we would be screaming at each other all day long. She is FIVE and when I sit with her to do homework, it’s already a battle.

    We also choose to attend a high priced private school while forgoing some extras at home. This school is a medical and science magnet and the opportunities they afford my children are first class. With the way the world is lately, I want them to have the best education and be able to fall back on their smarts when they are older.

    I may be common sense smart and able to make a nice living off of my know-how but I do NOT have a college degree to fall back on. I want my kids to have that in the upcoming years.

    1. It’s been a hellofa day. It’s not the homework from the lost folder. That homework somehow got turned in, but the homework that was due today did not.

      It’s like she’s trying to sabotage herself. I give up.

  3. I have to say that this post and the first one about her punishment has me in tears of frustration for you. I remember 12 and it sucked. I don’t know if she’s just going through puberty or something is going on with friends in school, but I can tell you that when I went through a phase of not turning in assignments I wished my mother did exactly what you are doing now. My daughter will be 11 in May. I fully support the punishment you’ve laid out. There could also be something else going on and I’ve found that having 1 on 1 time, either out for dinner or ice-cream, whatever helps ease that tension. So even if she’s on punishment with friends, maybe get her alone and you may find out something else is going on? Just a thought. I would never tell a parent how to parent a child that isn’t my own. I know that the social scene is so different than it used to be. Cell phones, ipods and computers are lifelines for our kids these days.

  4. I always look at this behavior as to why I didn’t turn things in or essentially care. Whenever I lacked a purpose or reason for doing things then I wouldn’t do them. As soon as I had goals in mind of what I wanted to do and realized the importance of these things in that relation then I became better at turning things in.

  5. Last year when my son was turning 12 he did the same thing. No explanation. So, I worked closely with the teacher double checking on him. The teacher assigned a classmate to double check his homework was going home. He hated it. I also waited outside his classroom door to make sure everything was coming home. It worked.

  6. Ugh. I had that same problem when I was young. Unfortunately for me, my parents were never good about remembering punishments for longer than a day or so. After failing out of 3 different colleges, 10 years of abject poverty and the humiliation of working a menial job that I loathe for those entire 10 years and having to watch my friends grow up, get cool jobs and nice homes and have weddings while I always answered “Yes” to “Hey, you still at that job?”, I have learned my lesson and am back in school, turning in my assignments. Maybe she’ll learn the lesson now instead of the really hard way.

  7. 12 sucked for me and Sylvia. As soon as she started understanding that her grades really would affect her ability to get into the high school of her choice, she started putting more effort in. We also spent a LOT of time going over her friendship/Mean Girls issues. Having those conversations helped her know that I’m on her side, no matter what. And that helped too. But it was a long year and a lot of setbacks along the way. Whoever said the twos were terrible clearly never had a 12-year-old girl.

  8. Jessica, I worked in a slew of schools in NY, and I can tell you this is really, really common among smart kids, and/or high achieving kids. My (smart and high-achieving) brother did this when he was 12/13, in ninth grade. He still managed to get into a respectable college, become a CPA and then a lawyer. He’s married, has friends, and never gets in trouble at work for having forgotten to turn in a memo to a partner or anything.

    It’s a phase. Jane will grow out of it. But it’s a totally, totally normal phase. They DO the homework. They’ll take the time to learn whatever it is. They just can’t bring themselves to turn it in. For a while. Phase.

  9. Have you considered your daughter does not want to be a high achiever, and as a result is sabotaging herself? With good grades come responsibilities…ending up on the honor roll (then maintaining that), honor societies, etc. I saw all these high achievements as bothersome and took time away from my friends & social life. The better she does in middle school the more advanced her classes will be come high school. Has her homework load always been as regular/heavy/etc as it is now? Is this her first year of multiple classes with responsibilities to many teachers?

    She could simply be overwhelmed by having to step it up and prefers the days of less work. I knew if I aced my math tests, I could get a good solid C, even if I never turned in a day of homework. Everyone was very confused. “She passes her tests, but she fails her homework.” No…I failed to *turn in* my homework. B/c I would rather be with my friends, watching TV, or otherwise NOT WORKING when I got home from school. It’s not rocket science. What kid PREFERS homework to after school activities?? The end result is so far off it’s not even a blip on the radar. Conversely, the end result of “you must get into a good school” may already be taking it’s toll.

  10. I hear you and I would be feeling just like you are – I know I would sound like those crazy prep class commercials where the mom is screaming about them not getting into college.

  11. I have no idea what to say except that I have heard of this before and all the kids have been fine in the end but that’s probably little comfort to you at this point.I just wanted to comment (finally) to say I find your honesty so helpful and encouraging. You always leave me thinking & wanting more. Thank you.

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