No excuses…

Posted by on March 14, 2013 at 5:17 pm.

Not a quitterLast evening, around 8:00 p.m., my daughter decided to tell me she had a Math test today.

My immediate thought was…

Yeah, you could have told me this when I asked you six hours earlier!

What was hilarious was the fact that she thought she could tell me that and then slip into bed. I wasn’t having it! I made her stay up an additional 1.5 hours to quiz her on Math to ensure she was ready for her test today. She wasn’t liking that at all and really pouted when I told her tomorrow morning I’d be quizzing her again. I normally know about her tests in advance, but this one slipped right past me.
When I asked her why she didn’t tell me about the test? Her response was, I didn’t want to take the test.

Me: “The test was still going to take place, right?”

Daughter: Well, yeah…

Me: Well, doesn’t it make sense to be prepared so you do well? Poor grades are unacceptable in this house since I know your capabilities. You know this…

As I told her, childhood is a training manual… the habits you develop now can be beneficial to you as an adult. I also told her she might not always like the decisions I make for her and that’s fine, as she gets older I’ll step back and let her make more of her own decisions. My daughter and I are good friends, but I’m still her parent.  When it comes to schooling, as much as I’m involved with her education to ensure she does well, I don’t want to hear any excuses.

My daughter is nine years old, so I’m not going to expect her to approach each activity with the same amount of enthusiasm, but you know what? That’s when it’s my job as the parent to step up and give her the gentle nudge needed or on the rare occasion banning her from a much loved activity to ensure she always does her best.

Regarding schoolwork, my daughter’s grades are either A’s or a B+. I would say part of the reason she does so well is that I do make an effort to be there and help her if she does struggle with something. It’s not always easy, I’m busy but I always make time for her. Sometimes this means that I have to do extra work to make sure I understand what she needs help with. Yes, that takes additional time, but if I want her to continue to do well, it’s my responsibility to do what’s needed to make that happen.

Teacher’s aren’t always to blame…

I am not one of those parents who always find blame with the teachers. Teachers aren’t always the issue. Sometimes parents need to understand that their “little darlings” are the culprits. It’s personal responsibility folks, quit making excuses for them! You really aren’t helping the situation when you do that. And you know what? Sometimes parents/guardians are to blame also for not doing enough to ensure that their children do well.




  • suituapui says:

    Exactly! Parental support and guidance is crucial even if it is just sitting there beside the kid to keep them company and to show interest in what they do.

    Most Asian parents just push everything to the teachers these days and blame them when the kids don’t do well which is really very sad…and they send the kids for extra tuition classes so the kids can excel in their exams – the poor children here these days really don’t have a life at all.
    suituapui recently posted..Another time, another place…


    Opal Reply:

    Most Asian parents just push everything to the teachers these days and blame them when the kids don’t do well which is really very sad…

    @suituapui, We see the same thing here in the States people falling all over themselves to make excuses for their “little darlings.” Delinquent, well that’s somehow the teachers fault. That’s not always true. Skipping school? Oh well that somehow everyone’s fault but the child’s too.

    I look at the parents that continually make excuses for their children and think… are you serious? You’re actually letting your child pull that with you? What parents/guardians need to realize if they constantly make excuses for their children now, those children will most likely have that same mentality as an adult. I’ve ran into adults like that, in many cases, it’s beyond frustrating to try to work with them.
    Opal recently posted..A drop in spam…


  • DragonLady says:

    Agreed! I have lazy kids, and it got to the point with my son that everything I tried failed, and he still would not do his homework. So my only option was to let him fail. Only he did so well on the end of grade test that the principal passed him even though he failed everything. That was 5th grade, and that’s how he got through middle school. So I expect that he will be repeating 9th grade next year because he still won’t do homework. My daughter should be a junior, and I am pretty sure she will still be a 10th grader at the end of this school year. She fails thinking that we’ll let her drop out. But, that’s still not an option. She hates school because of social issues, and so at the end of this school year, we are going to withdraw her and homeschool her. My son actually wants to go to school; he just hates doing the work. It is frustrating. They are both really smart, but just have never applied themselves. There is more to the story than I am sharing, and while it took a lot of years to identify, it is out in the open now, and being worked on. Hopefully not to late to make a difference. 😉
    DragonLady recently posted..‘Cause I like to eat


    Opal Reply:

    @DragonLady, Boys of Baraka was a documentary that came out perhaps four or five years ago. I got to meet a few of the boys, being that I worked for a non-profit organization that worked with youth, mostly troubled you.

    What was impressive about these boys was most of them were lazy, several skipped school often, social issues, etc., I’d say their cases were extreme in that they all lived in high crime areas, within the inner city. But even with those obstacles they had the potential to do well, with guidance. They were fortunate in that people believed in them. They were sent off to Africa to a school that worked with these type of youth. Discipline was introduced and the children really had no other option to do what was required to be successful.

    What’s interesting, is the approach that was used overseas wasn’t magical, I use a similar approach with my daughter and to a lesser extent with the children I’ve mentored. Bad habits can be changed… but it’ll take a lot of effort to make those things happen.

    In some ways, my daughter does show lazy tendencies, but sometimes that’s part of being a child. Showing her that those tendencies aren’t acceptable can be challenging, but it’s worth the effort. As her parent, if she continues to ignore what I say, I simply restrict activities she likes since I’m not about to reward her for ignoring what she should be doing. I’ll also assign mom homework at home. It didn’t take her long to realize that poor performance was not acceptable.

    I’m sure some might view my parenting style as “tough” but I still have a great relationship with my daughter. We do a lot of fun activities together. But at times I have to step out of out of the friend status and be her parent. If I want her to continue to be productive as an adult, I need to lay the groundwork now and at times that means she might not always like the decisions I make. She does know I love her and we spend a lot of time together. She also knows she can talk to me about anything. I’ll keep my mouth shut and listen. I might not always agree with her but I’m always available. Sometimes she might have to wait a bit for me to finish some work, but afterwards I’m hers. 🙂
    Opal recently posted..Honeybees in May


  • Jennifer says:

    Oh my! She tried to slip one by ya! Eeeek! BUT…you stopped her in her tracks 🙂

    If only I could be a fly on the wall sometimes – just to observe! You two are adorable and I admire you for not only being great friends with your daughter but also being a wonderful parent.

    I bet it’s hard to do both but it seems you have it down! Awesome!
    Jennifer recently posted..Rice is Nice, Naturally Sweet, and Never Any Meat!


    Opal Reply:

    @Jennifer, It’s all about finding a balance. Part of parenting, is letting your children know when you do make mistakes.

    I’m definitely not perfect and just like there are areas where she can improve, there are areas that I need to work on also. Sometimes I have to go to her and apologize for not doing something correctly. You know what? there are times she’ll tell me if she doesn’t think something I did was correct. Sometimes she’s right! When that happens I apologize and try to make sure it doesn’t happen again. At times, she’ll also come to me and apologize for something she’s done. I don’t tell her to do that, but she’s following my example.

    My style is similar to a friend. Her daughter is much older, but her daughter still talks with her and likes doing things with her mom. Like myself, she told her (when she was young) that she could always come to her, and she showed an interest in her life. She was also disciplined (restricted from favorite activities) when needed.

    Some parents claim they are much too busy for their children. But some of those same parents making those claims, still find time to do things they like… funny how that works, right? Sure, I’m super busy, but since my daughter is my top priority I make the time for her.

    My daughter knows that I’m available. I don’t just say this, I show it by my actions. And yes… I’ve had to restrict some of the activities I enjoy to make time for my daughter.


  • Kristine says:

    Honestly, I think that in the most cases, it isn’t the teacher’s fault… my son used to blame his teachers all the time, although I always knew that he has cheated. Btw it is really important to get to know the teachers, so you can decide if your child is right or not.
    Kristine recently posted..wieder da!


    Opal Reply:


    Btw it is really important to get to know the teachers, so you can decide if your child is right or not.

    I completely agree with you. I make a point to get to know all my daughter’s teachers.
    Opal recently posted..Giving thanks…


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