My entire life , well for as long as I can remember, I’ve always wanted to the best! No exception. I had to have the biggest and I had to be the best. Nothing that even closely resembled failure was welcomed anywhere near me. I wouldn’t accept anything less than the best. I credit my brother with inspiring me to take on this mindset. My brother was always so smart, effortlessly. He was good at every single thing that he did, effortlessly. He was just a natural at being the best. I used to want to be just like him. I had to work at being smart and all that, but I worked and I did it.
That’s pretty much my background. Now what I want and need to know is this, does that kind of determination and mindset tend to skip a generation? How did my brother and I end up with it and my kids (with the exception of Baby Zay, we don’t know about her yet, since she’s still so young) not get even a teeny tiny drop of it?
Thus far, my children care NOTHING about being the smartest in their class. They don’t care about getting good grades. They could care less about being at the head of their class. None of that matters to them.
I’ve tried everything to motivate them to get better grades. Rewards. Punishments. Taking away of ALL electronics. Isolation. Still Nada!
In the meantime, my classmates from high school get to login to Facebook and show their kids off! They get to brag that they’re kids are on the honor roll, the Principal’s list, the National Honor society and blah, blah, blah, blah. I’m left wondering, is this what envy feels like?
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!