Monday, September 24, 2007

*real independence*

Earlier today, my coworker Mrs. D took a call from a lady who wanted to come in to do her daughter's homework because her daughter didn't have time because she does cross-country. Mrs. D said something to the effect of "Gee, I tell you. Let her come right on in and teach her daughter some REAL independence." I loved it, so profound. Independence from responsibilities, priorities, time management. You name it, this girl won't believe she'll have to do it from here on out.

Fast forward to 5 minutes ago...and elderly lady walked up and asked for Mrs. D. She said, "My daughter called about some books on Greek mythology for her 9th grade year old daughter...." (no wonder the mom has to do all the work! imagine it...a 9th grade toddler?)

Okay, the girl's busy.
I get it. (non-approving)

Mom needs to come in to help her catch up due to a horrendous extracurricular obligation.
I get that too. (non-approving)

But sending in Grandma? It needs to get to the third generation back?
(uh, hell no?)

Not only would my mom have laughed in my face if I'd said I was too busy to do my homework, could she do it for me, a slap could possibly have been on the way for cheekiness. My option (intentional non-pluralization) would have been to drop some of the extra stuff and get my freakin' school work done.

This is not an unusual situation...sadly enough, it happens each and every day around here. Kids just too busy to do their homework. Too busy to read so the parents come in for audiobooks which I guess the kids play while they sleep, praying for osmosis.

Obviously I had it good going to a rural high school where your choices were football, basketball, and baseball...and only two of those for girls. My high school put all their money into football (big surprise that close to T-town) and everything else just had to scrape by. Consequently there was very little money for any fancy academics either. We had on AP class option: American history. Only one teacher qualified to teach chemistry and physics so it got taught alternating years. Luckily for my own mental health and the safety of West Blocton High School, I never took physics. Roomie very nearly burned my face off attempting to light a Bunsen burner in chem class, so I thought I'd just cut my losses. Reading requirements: I read A Midsummer Night's Dream in 10th grade and A Tale of Two Cities (blech!) in 12th. That was it. Luckily I was a voracious reader on my own or I'd be like many of my classmates with a mind like the void of interstellar space....also with children and divorces under my belt before 5 year reunion. Seeing them all at the 10 year reunion was depressing enough.

Anyway...KP, as a parent, I expect you to make KP, Jr do all of his own homework, regardless of extracurricular activities.

Okay, if the Olympics are involved I'll yield my position, but that's it!

afternoon ya'll!


Erica said...

once again, i concur wholeheartedly

Jeff Stankard, Group Publisher said...

It's so funny because you sound like me before I had kids. I knew the right way to raise them and "I'll never do that" was a frequent part of any discussion about my sister and her kids. She ALWAYS said, just wait until you have your own.
Well guess what, I got 'em. And I haven't changed my tune. They're 12 and 14 and they know if they don't get their work done before bedtime, it means they get up early to finish it before they catch the bus. And the bus - that's the thing they ride for FREE. Because I don't want to waste gas driving them to school at a time that is more convenient.
Sorry. Mean mom? Maybe. Raising responsible children - Definitely.
(not perfect kids, but perfectly decent to be around 99% of the time)
Parents like you describe (and I've seen them too) make it harder for us mean moms.

Holley T said...

I do have some firm opinions (viewed, experienced, but personally untested) on childrearing but I'll always refrain from saying I know the right way to raise them. I can only hope that if (big, giant, hulking, massive, pulsating IF) I ever change my mind and decide that my life includes a child/children of my own that I'll manage to muddle through and do half as well as I see my brother and my friend KT doing.

I just hate to think of myself becoming a homework-doing parent...hell, I just got off antidepressants for having to do my own homework again after 10 years break from it. It'd be a personal hell and horrible nightmare to have to go back to doing work from elementary and high school. I just plain ol' don't remember all of that nitpicky crap you have to know to pass standardized (dead, dull, stultifying) tests. Okay now...I'm stepping away from the arena/soapbox and walking away. Too much drama for something that hasn't happened, is not on the radar, and may never come to pass. I'm such an overthinker sometimes....

Although...I do wish I had a cattle prod that I could poke homework-doing parents with everytime they came in to further cripple their children's sense of accountability....that'd be nice AND a constructive use of my time...

Kenny P. said...

You betcha. He'll do his homework. I've already done my time.

Holley T said...

I can rest easy knowing that my readers make their kids do their own homework! You rock guys...keep the responsible parent train steaming!

Ms. Hubbard said...

My parents would have been like tough sh** if I did not have "time" to get something for an assignment.