No Christmas For You!

Call me a meany, but I see it as “doing what I gotta do!” My oldest two children (14 and 13) have both developed a lackluster attitude towards performing well in school. Their grades have been ongoing issues since they both  entered middle school. Their grades will start off being really impressive, then they’ll fall completely off! When I go ballistic, then the grades go back up! Well now my oldest is in 9th grade and next in line is my 8th grader, and since our relocating from Michigan, the grades have been less than impressive! Initially, I thought that they needed an adjusting period. I gave them that, and the grades have suffered even more! Not only are the grades SHOCKING, but their attitudes towards improving them are just as SHOCKING! I’ve cut off cell phones, I’ve issued out punishments, I’ve completely cut off the money supply, and anything else that’ll make them remotely happy! At first I thought these actions  were my saving grace because they each did a complete turn around and started getting back on track! Well, that lasted a little over a week before the carefree attitudes came back, and not only did they come back, but I swear they came back with a vengeance. So, with me having the “always gonna win” attitude that I have, I had to devise something to out do them……and I did!

This is my 8th grader's Christmas list! (some nerve, huh?)

We absolutely LOVE the Christmas season in our household. I mean, we overdo it and then some! All the stops are truly pulled out! Kids are uber excited around here because they’re getting EVERY SINGLE thing that asked for! Aha! (raises eyebrows)

Just imagine the delight I took in watching their expanded attitudes deflate when I delivered the news that there will be NO reward for bad grades. Specifically, they will be NO CHRISTMAS for anyone who has unacceptable grades! Jaws dropped, tears formed in eyes and bottom lips were quivering as I delivered the news (with a smile). Since the delivery of my Christmas terms I’ve gone out of my way to rub in the consequences of bad grades, “No Christmas for you!” I also told them that they will sit and watch as the two little ones rip open the ton of Christmas gifts that they’re sure to get! (Ha! Ha! Ha!)

Before walking out the door this morning, I gave them their last and final reminders of what it’ll take to have the stupendous Christmases that they’re use to! They both assured me that they know and that they’re going to earn their Christmas back!  Even when the Christmas season ends, this will be my attitude from here on out! I will take away and not buy the things that they want, if they’re not doing anything to earn them! I hate that I’ve allowed them to get away with this behavior for so long, but I’m glad that I have the opportunity to correct it!


Filed under Family, Mothering, Parenting, Raising Teenagers, Uncategorized

4 responses to “No Christmas For You!

  1. Amy A

    You do what you got to do. The world out there will be so much crueler and tougher than you could ever imagine being, that’s for sure. Just don’t threaten anything you’re not willing to follow-through on (our kids will remember and use it against us).

    If you don’t want to cancel Xmas altogether, there might be a middle ground, but you are the parent, and guardian of their future — it’s up to you. They will get over one missed holiday, however harsh it might seem, but it might take years to catch up in school. But, if you do work with them now, they can improve, and their grades don’t have to impact their future choices at all. They’ll be okay.

    Take a breath. You do what you think is best, you love your kids. Good luck, it’s a tough job, that’s for sure. Amy

    • Thanks for the comment Amy! You’re absolutely right! I MUST follow through with the threats for sure! That’s exactly how I’ve ended up here…NOT following through all these years! Since this past Summer I’ve been doing exactly what I say I’m going to do….which is the only reason why they believe me now! Your advice is right on! The world is definitely crueler than I can ever be! Thanks again Amy! I TRULY appreciate it! =)

  2. Christmas will come and go, but a good education is forever. Be consistent in the consequences, they will eventually see it is all in love. Outside of Christmas, birthdays, or any other opportunity I may have to give my kids stuff, I’ve learned that it is only “stuff” and “stuff” is fleeting. One of the best things we can help our children achieve is a good education. We can’t “give” them that good education, but we can support and reinforce habits in and outside our household that allow for learning to happen. Have you talked to them about why they are struggling? It sounds like it’s not because they’re not capable. They sound like two smart kids. There may be other things in the way. If there are other things going on, talk to them about it, help them clear those obstacles and that may help. You’re a good mom…and you’re right to make education a priority. Be well.

    • Dionne, thank you so much for the comment and advice! I actually read your comment aloud to my oldest two children. Sometimes it’s better to hear the words come from an outside source. Spot on! I’m so glad that you passed on such wonderful words filled with awesome advice to me. I truly appreciate it!

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