Posted in Discipline vs. Control, Parenting, Uncategorized

What’s My Motivation? (Part One)

Hello! Welcome to 2015 and its first installment. Hard to fathom that 2014 rolled full throttle to its close. How true is it that the older one gets the faster time seems to go?

Back to business!

In my previous posts* we talked about taking that step back and letting kids deal with the consequences of their actions. Sometimes, that means allowing them to fail, especially when they poo-poo every parent effort to keep them from doing so.

Taking that step back is not easy. Yet, when we least expect it, life hands our kid(s) another lesson, better than we can ever teach.

Yep, here’s another Younger Son episode. (Being my challenge child, he will most likely command the leading role in many of my posts. 😉 )

Last time we talked about his love of football. Sometimes, I think he has a greater affection for basketball, which he plays recreationally. (Remember that Saturday league he joined that led to his commitment to football? He signed up again this year, played–and won–his first three games. Better than his sophomore football team did, anyway.)

IMG_0994 ©Joanne C Timpano

Being a fairly organized young man, on the day of his first game during the first or second weekend in December, he pulled out the brand new b-ball shoes he had asked me to purchase back in October. This 16-year-old seems to keep growing, and although skeptical he was buying them too soon, we picked them up on a trek for another pair of sneakers. (Sales were kind of too good to pass up—and we had coupons too. )

Big Boy tried those shoes on about two hours before his game.

Big Boy had grown some more. The shoes didn’t fit, and he asked me if I would take him to the store to exchange them. (I’m pretty good about keeping receipts.)

We’re up to that ‘take a step back’ part. Rather than get into the “I told you so’s” or a lecture or yelling at him, I told him the truth: there was no way I could stop everything I was doing and get him to the store. He had other shoes that fit and would have to make do.

He took his case to Dad, prefacing his request with, “I should have listened to Mom, but…” One could hope he learned from this experience. (I figure he’s also good at schmoozing—er, saying the right thing when he wants something ;).)

Dad was not tied up and offered to take him.

At this point, you’re probably saying, “I wouldn’t have taken him. That way he would learn his lesson for next time.”

I don’t disagree with that thinking, and had I been the only parent available, there would have been no trip to the store that Saturday.

In the interest of brevity, I will pick this up again later this week.

What are your thoughts so far? Would you have taken your child to the store? How might you have reacted to his or her request in a similar situation? Feel free to post comments, experiences and/or questions below. Let’s make this site a community gathering place where we help each other by not being shy. (For those who are shy, you can always send an email via my CONTACT ME page.)

*Here are the links to Part One and Part Two, for those want to catch up. (Don’t want to miss a post? Click the FOLLOW button at the top of your screen for auto-delivery of each post to your inbox. Rest assured, emails are NEVER shared or sold.)

As always, I thank you for your time.

Have a wonderful day,

Joanne

 

©Joanne C Timpano, content and images. All rights reserved.

 

Posted in Commitment, Discipline vs. Control, Parenting, School-related, Uncategorized

When You Take That Step Back… (Part Two)

Welcome back, and thank you again for your time! I hope you find something that will make your parenting journey even a hair easier.

If you’re here for the first time, you might want to catch up by reading Part One.

And here is where we left off last time: Younger Son is on a journey toward commitment to football, but not to his grades.

Football Xbox school

I’ll tell you true, folks, the boy is no stellar student. Not that I expect him to be an honors man, but a little effort here and there would be nice, especially when it comes time to studying for quizzes and tests, and especially since he gets a decent return when he takes a whole 15 or 20 minutes to look over his study guide nightly a few days before a test. (Homework isn’t an issue. He gets that done, usually w/o a hitch and w/o help, reminders, etc.)

Long story short, I had to bite the bullet and step back when it came to freshman algebra. He was in danger of failing—and not having the necessary credits to play football come fall. I gave frequent reminders to pull out the material, do five measly practice problems a night, employ his older brother/math whiz for help as needed, go to teacher for extra help, etc.

The result? Viva la resistance. The only time he studied is when I hid the X-box controller. (Remember the high interest and motivation I talked about in the previous post? The grand irony: only the controller he liked went missing. He couldn’t be bothered playing with either of the other two sitting next to his unit. “But I didn’t do anything!” he wails when he notices its absence. “Exactly,” Mom says. Then he’ll pull out his notes and come back, pleased as punch to claim an 82 on his Social Studies test. See what I mean?)

Anyway, I finally decided to stop “necking,” as he tends to say. In other words, if he failed algebra, he failed algebra. He wasn’t taking direction from me or his dad, and life lessons tend to stick better anyway, or so says MHO. (Besides, as a freshman, he has three years to make it up. I figured if he loved the class so much the first time, why not sit through it another year? Or, better yet: rather than sleep late during vacation, he can get up every morning for summer school then go to football practice. 0:-).

I also checked with his guidance counselor to find out if he has the credits to play next year. Somehow, I wound up getting a call from the supervisor of the phys-ed and athletics department.

I gave her some background on my guy and his lack of commitment to studying.

God (Universe, Higher Power, etc) provided the EXACT answer and direction I needed. The supervisor advised me to direct Younger Son to her office the following week. “In cases like this, I have the kids bring me their work on a weekly basis. If grades aren’t up to par, they’re not allowed to play.”

Woot! Younger Son will have to be accountable to someone other than his ma, his pa and himself. He enjoys pleasing teachers, coaches, etc, he likes (as long as the effort he has to put in isn’t overwhelming).

Being able to play and not be benched or not allowed on the team might be just the carrot that needs to be dangled in front of him to get him to commit to his schoolwork a tad more.

And mamma doesn’t have to be the studying enforcer.

Sometimes, you have to take a step back and be open to different ways a situation can work itself out. You might be pleasantly surprised at how life jumps in and gives you exactly what you need, exactly when you need it.

What are your thoughts on this matter? Do you get out of the way, let life take over and see where it takes you? Have you ever gotten what you need exactly when you need it? Please feel free to share about your experiences in the comments. And if you feel comment-shy, don’t hesitate to send me a private message via my CONTACT ME page.

Have a great day everyone!

Joanne

 

Copyright © 2014 Joanne C Timpano. All Rights Reserved (content and images) .