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"Murphy was an optimist!"

Failing Dad April 12, 2006 5:45 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Daily Life, Education, Family, Sarah
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Cathy and I bill ourselves as "approachable parents." We want our children to feel comfortable approaching us on any topic including sex, drugs, and so forth. Apparently there is something at a genetic level that keeps children from talking to parents.

Sarah is currently in honors math. I am proud that she excels. Sarah yesterday brought home a note explaining that she will not be invited into Algebra I because she has failed her last 6 tests and told the teacher she "doesn’t want to be in Algebra I." Throughout the past grading period I’ve constantly asked, "how are you doing?" only to be told "fine." My trust has been betrayed. I neglected to talk to the teachers and get regular reports on Sarah. I let her down but the onus is not completely upon me. I cannot help those that do not seek help. I all but begged her to ask for help and she hid her test results from us.

Repercussions? 1) Severely limited extracurricular activities in the 8th grade until she shows responsibility and caring about her studies. 2) Much more parent/teacher communication next year. 3) Calendar planning skills to be enforced.

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1. kristyk - April 12, 2006

I don’t think you are failing at all. We have been going through the same thing with Mica. I have had to inform all of her teachers to contact us directly because she isn’t honest with them OR us. Just last week, I got an email from her teacher that she didn’t complete the report they had four weeks to do. Her excuse? We FORCED her to watch tv and refused to let her work at home. Complete lie.

Try not to take it personally.

2. Stormare Mackee - April 12, 2006

Doug, I think it’s called “being a teenager”, and barring a time machine, there’s not much one can do about it 🙂 And fwiw, I think you’ve been lucky to not have it happen until she’s a teenager (we’re just going through the same with our 3rd grader).

3. Reality Me » From the mouths of babes - April 12, 2006

[…] This goes hand in hand with my earlier post. […]

4. djuggler - April 12, 2006

Forced to watch tv 🙂 That’s great!

I’m not taking it too personally. She is old enough and mature enough to accept the consequences of her own actions. I find frustrating that I haven’t found the magic button that will let her open up to us and ask for help. I will beat myself up a little for not making the time to somehow be more involved with her education. The “failing dad” title is a bit of word play on her 6 failed tests, our failure to communicate, and my failure to head this off before she got so far behind. So I give myself a failing grade.


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