My mom is a real pain in the ass

11 Oct

“My mom is a real pain in the ass” is probably the first thing Danielle said to her friends when she got on the bus. I did the very thing that teachers hate—sent her off to school angry and upset. My apologies in advance to all of her teachers.

BUT, I am soooo tired of Danielle’s casualness and lackadaisical attitude toward her schoolwork topped off with the “I know everything attitude” argghhhhh. Is this the pre-teen thing? If so, it’s really not working for me.

Let me say in advance that it’s probably all my fault, though. I probably built her confidence up so high that now she thinks that she doesn’t have to work for anything. Also, I will advocate for her in a second so maybe that’s enabling the behavior. I am such a go-getter and she prefers to cut corners and I can’t stand it !! I’m totally a learner and she thinks that she has the whole world figured out and I can’t stand it !!! Can we bypass pre-teen and go straight to the college years.

Being the person that I am–I check her grades and assignments constantly online. To my horror, I saw a big giant F on a science lab and a C on a math test. WHAT????!!!!  After she studied and did a million problems at home beforehand. AYYYYYYYYY. After my initial freak out, I asked her if she had the paper. She did and yes, it was balled up, which led to my 2nd freak out of the evening.

Being the data person that I am 🙂 I began to look carefully at her work and realized that she did, in fact, know the content but alas…she didn’t document it the way the teacher wanted or frankly, the way she should have. Okay, cool. She can fix this. I went to an Ivy League school and I learned how to do this expertly.Just do what the teacher wants and you’ll be fine. I gave her some tips: Yes, restate the question even though it’s a waste of time. Yes, organize it in a particular way so it looks pleasing to the teacher. Yes, write more neatly so she can actually read it (this is a big one). However, my altruistic comments and willingness to help was met with a super duper attitude, complete with (gasp) eye rolling and I think I heard her think, “my mom is a pain in the ass!”

So, being the person that I’m striving to be–I let it go until morning. When I tried to revisit the conversation, Danielle gave me so much attitude that I lost it. The bang your fists on the table and say mean things like ‘go ahead and get another F’ because you seem to like them’ – lost it. ewww. not good. I’m earning an entry into her journal as we speak.

I honestly did feel bad about losing control but I am so over dealing with her attitude and malaise around working hard. I don’t have patience for that. I slammed 3 nurses at the Heart Hospital for the same thing so you know that I don’t want to deal with it with my own child. So hmmm, what do you do when it’s your child that’s plucking your last nerve and better yet, going down a slippery slope to academic purgatory (where once you get there you’re pretty much stuck–especially as a kid of color) ?? Help me Jesus not to mush her in the face.

How do you make a kid work hard when all they want to do is cut corners? Do I spend too much time enabling this behavior and way of working b/c I advocate so much for her? Are honors classes too much? Does she have trouble focusing? What gives??

I’m really trying NOT to be a reincarnation of my own parents around schooling b/c after all, that was not pleasant to say the least.  I remember staying up until my work was tight with a dare not to use the eraser (that was an instant-do over). no mercy.  BUT a little LaVerne and a little Ray  might be the very thing that this pre-teen needs. She better get strapped in b/c she’s about to hit some turbulence. I just hope that the table is strong enough to withstand a few more slams.


Posted by on October 11, 2011 in parenting


15 responses to “My mom is a real pain in the ass

  1. therealmummy

    October 11, 2011 at 1:32 pm

    Have linked this post on my blog x

  2. memoriesandsuch

    October 11, 2011 at 1:48 pm

    I totally get this. This is a big one for me, fortunately I still have a few years before the big ones come up for me…Hang in there…

  3. Lafayette Jefferson

    October 11, 2011 at 5:48 pm

    I think you should visit her in school. Take away that “Cool Girl” status. Sit in on a class or two.

    Dr. Ben Carson, said his mom used to make him read and do book reports for her. He commented that he hated it, but it probably put him over the top in school.

    I would have her keep an “Attitude – behavior journal” it’s pretty good in changing behaviors for the long term.

    Here’s one related to business. modify it to a kids school/home life and you’ll have a winner.

    • footsgrl1

      October 13, 2011 at 7:05 pm

      yep, we have school part deux when she comes home from school.

  4. Kyle

    October 12, 2011 at 2:20 am

    I’m going to preface by saying that I obviously haven’t reached this point in parenthood so I’m going a bit on untested theory, but I do teach middle school so I’m pretty much fighting the school end of this battle daily. The main thing I remind the parents of my students is that regardless of the fact that their pre-teen child is starting to look more adult, the fact is they are 1) going through a 2nd round of the ‘testing boundaries’ phase they went through at age 3 (ugh!) and 2) their social life is now more important than anything else in the world, and as horrifying as it is to a parent, it is developmentally appropriate. It is also appropriate to tie consequences for poor choices and poor work habits to what the child values… so while trying to entice a pre-teen to care about scholarly pursuits may fall on deaf ears, she will snap to it quick if she loses internet access, phone access, mall access, whatever access she deems important to her social life. Go back to the old “I’m not debating with a child, I’m telling you the consequences for your choices and that’s it,” phase. The drawn out conversations only result in her winning (at pissing you off with her attitude, which IS intentional) and you losing (your temper and/or your sanity). At least until she’s about 24. And has a job. LOL Also, I intentionally failed all my classes one term of 7th grade in an unsuccessful attempt to make the cool kids like me. Like I said, nothing matters but her social life right now, but that won’t last forever 🙂

    • footsgrl1

      October 13, 2011 at 7:05 pm

      OMG Kyle ! thank you. This makes so much sense. whew. I just told her that if she gets one more bad grade or one more bad report from the teacher (I got an email today saying that she was being disruptive) , her hamster will go back to the pet store. I was coo and calm and matter of fact-as you suggested. thank you sooo much.

  5. Kimba

    October 12, 2011 at 3:08 am

    Ohhh boy! My mom told me that from 11 – 14 I was a monster. I acted like she couldn’t be right about anything and I was never wrong! I think for those of us girls that are super close to our mom, it is an inevitable attitude phase. I’m no pro and I don’t have kids but based off my experience with my momma, it seems that way. So between the teen tude and the new move, maybe her hormones have just temporarily gone haywire!

    • footsgrl1

      October 13, 2011 at 7:02 pm

      Thanks Kim. Everytime i see the way you are with your mom and I hope that Danielle and I will be the same way !! You’ve helped me to take a deep breath and decompress. besos !

  6. tjzager

    October 13, 2011 at 12:16 am

    Oooh…that’s a hard one. I don’t know Danielle well, but I do wonder about giving her a little room to make mistakes and OWN the thinking and learning involved. I know there’s a time and a place for strict, but I also know rebellion is a powerful thing as a teenager, and the backfire scenario is if she rebels against school as a way of rebelling against academic superstar mom, you know?

    I was obviously not a kid of color, so the rules are different, I know. But I also know I earned more than my fair share of Cs and even some Fs in junior high and high school before I decided to get my shit in gear and apply myself, as the saying goes. Until then, I was a proud corner cutter. And it all turned out alright on the resume front. Her future is still totally unwritten…

    Just some thoughts. Not looking forward to facing this stuff as a parent down the road…Love and support. T

    • footsgrl1

      October 13, 2011 at 6:59 pm

      thanks Tracy. I think you are right. I just worry so much about teachers who write of kids of color when they start slipping. It’s almost as if kids of color (and I may be totally projecting here) cannot even afford to do what you describe. hmmm tough one. I received an email from one of her teachers stating that she was being a little disruptive in class and I told her that if that happens again or if she gets a bad grade, then her hamster goes back to the store. maybe too much tough love but i’ve already said it….

  7. Lillian

    October 15, 2011 at 3:38 am

    Wow, Hollee, I am so with you on the whole attitude thing. For me, I think I’ve heard/read so much about tweeny ‘tudes, that now that it’s here, I have a hard time keeping a straight face.(except when little brother gets the totally snide (you’re a dimwit) tone of voice-that’s what has me ready to pound the table and other things.
    Part of me realizes I “thought” the same attitude (just knew I’d get a severe wholloping if I let it show), so it doesn’t bug me a whole lot, (yet!)
    Fortunately, we haven’t seen issues at school, yet (other than not focusing on homework until its really late.)
    I definitely agree with the carrots/consequences approach. Ceilidh earned riding lessons a year back for “changing” her attitude/behavior at school. I’m sure she realizes those will stop if she starts acting up/out again.
    What really bugs me is the whole entitlement thing (Why do I have to help with x, y, z?) I’d love to hear advice on that one!
    Good luck, fightin’ the fight. “This, too, shall pass”, they say.

    • footsgrl1

      October 15, 2011 at 5:40 pm

      Lillian, I’m definitely into carrots and sticks right now. The entitlement thing is getting me too. The attitude thing really, really bugs me. I wish that it didn’t. I’m trying to walk the fine line…. how many more years of this????

  8. LaVerne Freeman Martins

    October 15, 2011 at 2:28 pm

    I being LaVerne as in “a little LaVerne” know that this to shall pass when Danielle is 25 years old. or was that Hollee?? Hollee you have a PhD but you need to go back to the old ways on this one start taking away things> Remember when I unpluged the phone and took it to work or was that your sister? I love Dee with all my heart but anything below a B- is not good. You have to get tough and stay tough when it comes to education.
    Helping Dee become the person you know she can be is you the most important job you will ever have.

    • footsgrl1

      October 15, 2011 at 5:37 pm

      I agree and if the phone thing wasn’t me, I can think of some other stuff that you did. I told her that I will send Hami back to the store if she got one more bad grade or one more bad report.


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