Saturday, March 19, 2011

She will not make it to teenager-hood

Today I have gotten a glimpse of what my daughter will be like as a teenager:  a complete shithead.

She has been resisting doing her reading journal for school for awhile now.  The reading itself is not the problem.  As best I can tell, she is at a high 3rd grade/low 4th grade reading level.  She just doesn't want to take the time to do it.

To make a long story short, she asked me to buy her a book set at her school's book fair two weeks ago.  I told her I would buy them but that she'd have to earn them by being cooperative and respectful about doing her reading responses.  She was better during the time she was "earning" her books.

(When she does them, she can either read aloud to me or read silently to herself.  Either way, I ask her questions about her reading afterwards to ensure she understood what she read.  And then I ask her questions to help her write her extended responses when she does those.)

Today I told her she could read while I was putting G down for a nap and then we'd talk about what she read afterward.  When I came downstairs and started asking her about her reading, she kept saying, "I don't remember," to which I replied, "Well read right here, then, to refresh your memory."  I tried asking her my question in a different way in case I was phrasing it awkwardly.  Still, "I don't remember," followed by my prompt to re-read.

After about the third time, she started to just be sassy, so I told her she wouldn't be able to play at her Mamaw's house tomorrow.  Now I generally avoid using time with grandparents as a disciplinary measure (just as I generally don't take away bedtime reading time since it serves a good purpose on its own), but I had told her yesterday that she would have to do a reading log on Saturday and Sunday before going to Mamaw's house.  If she was being uncooperative on Saturday, I figured it would be even worse on Sunday.  Perhaps the threat of not going to Mamaw's would snap her into shape.

She immediately said she'd be cooperative, so I told her if she did anything disrespectful to me or her dad the rest of the day she would NOT go to Mamaw's tomorrow.

And dammit if that child didn't do the EXACT same "I don't remember" crap and refuse to reread the part she didn't remember.

The next half hour was her crying, threatening that she would just walk to Mamaw's house tomorrow, begging, pleading, telling me she hated me, blah, blah, blah.  And then when I said I was going to the grocery, she begged to come with me, that she wanted to stay with me.  I unequivocally told her NO WAY, that I didn't want to spend the next two hours listening to her beg me to go to Mamaw's.

I told her that while I really hated for her to lose her fun time with Mamaw, apparently she will only be cooperative about doing her reading logs when she can get something for the books or playing at Mamaw's....and that in our house we are cooperative with each other because it makes life easier for everyone and is the respectful way to be.

This whole episode discombobulated me to the point that I, EGADS, forgot my coupons in the car when I went to the store, requiring me to leave my cart after walking around the store for a good 20 minutes and go back to the car to retrieve them.

D said she slept for 45 minutes while I was at the grocery, evidence that tiredness played a role in her mental collapse.

But I'm still holding firm, tiredness as a cause or not.

I hate having to deprive her of something fun as a disciplinary measure, but I also don't think kids who act like assholes to their parents and fail to take their schoolwork seriously deserve to get whatever the hell they want.  There are consequences to treating people like shit and not doing what needs to be done in the real world.  She needs to understand that.

But it still sucks.
For both of us.


Kelsey said...

I admire you sticking to your guns, even though it sucks for both of you.

Harper and have had more than a few of these types of encounters - she is so headstrong! I think our girls would get along - then again, they might just drive each other crazy!

Keri said...

Yeesh. Discipline is definitely not for the faint of heart!! I hate it when I set my kids up for success by giving them the chance to avoid the punishment, and they make a dumb choice instead. SO painful.

But good for you for going through the pain. So many parents these days don't seem willing to put in the hard work and deal with the pain involved in this sort of situation. N will thank you one day. Just maybe not for 15 or 20 years....