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Texting with the teenager - or SM as the enforcer

NCMilGal's picture

It turns out that SD17 is failing two classes.

We were aware of one, and weren't too bothered by it - she is getting tutoring, she was just failing tests, or so we thought. DH got an email yesterday notifying him that SD17 was missing assignments. She's missing SIX assignments in the other class, but this is also the scatterbrained teacher who has failed to mark her present three times this semester, (the classes on either side marked her as present, and I don't think she has ever ditched, so yeah, scatterbrained teacher) so who knows if she did the work or not.

We've been pretty accepting of poor grades as long as she's putting in honest effort, but missing assignments are another thing. DH has a tendency to get frustrated and say nasty things that are uncalled for, so I took over. I told her that she was to talk to her teachers today and get a note that all the admin stuff was fixed.

This morning, I realized I had forgotten to notify her of the consequences, so I texted her a reminder. I wasn't mean about it, and told her that it was up to her to fix the problem, love you and you're going to kick this situation's ass.

I got back something snotty about how if we gave her another day (her school has an odd and even day schedule) it would be more convenient.

I told her tough noogies, do it today.

I got back an "explanation" that stated she couldn't do anything before break anyway, and if she did this and this after break, she'd pull her grades up to a 68 and a 70. (Like those are grades to be proud of, but whatever)

At that point, I told her that she would do as told or face the consequences, her choice. I wasn't going to argue, and since she had let it come to my attention, we were going to fix it my way.

Am I wrong in thinking that she is admitting she didn't do the work?

If she blows us off, I've got some pretty good consequences, staying with nailing her ass to a chair to redo the missed assignments, and ending with the loss of orchestra and her cello lessons so she doesn't have to take the cello on the bus. (her excuse when we try to take her car away) Orchestra isn't required for graduation, but PNW History is.

Unfortunately, DH and I don't really have a moral high ground to stand on. DH failed to graduate because he blew off spring semester of his senior year. It's why he's in the Army now instead of the Marines. I never did any homework in high school, but I tested well enough to pull my grades up enough to graduate. But dammit, she's supposed to be smarter than us!



StepKat's picture

Use your situations as an example. DH's parents still use the fact that they never went to college as an example to why DH needs to finish (I won't let him drop out anyways). Doing good in school help you to struggle less in life.

NCMilGal's picture

DH just got his BS in June. I got mine in 09. But he was already at the top of the pay scale before he got his.

Of course, she won't be able to join the military. Her temperment doesn't fit, and she's not physically capable of it. Maybe I'll threaten to apprentice her to an electrician...

StepKat's picture

LOL that would be funny to watch. You and your DH would still be a great example for her. Y'all worked hard for your degrees and look how it has paid off Smile

NCMilGal's picture

That's my take on it too.

I do believe that at least a couple of the assignments were completed but not entered into the grade book, as DH has seen the graded originals - but that was the point of the hoop jumping today. It's a lesson I've learned in the Army; keep copies of your paperwork, because someone will screw up recording it and blame you.

But yes, even DH says she's trying to kick the can down the road and ignore it in hopes it will just go away. She goes to BM for Xmas on Saturday and "is so stressed out!" Tough noogies, life is stress.

Jsmom's picture

Sorry but this kid isn't going to a good college, so why the band? She is going to community college with those grades and they don't require anything...I do not believe you get extra-curriculars if your grades are not A's and B's....

SS15 was all a's and b's and recently we found out he was failing two classes. I got involved as a SM I don't parent him. But, DH asked me to dial back in. In one month he has a tutor, missing assignments are done and he had no electronics including his laptop, tablet, xbox and phone. All gone...He has had to sit his ass in a chair in the kitchen and study for at least an hour a day. If he had no homework, he had to do an App for German on his phone or watch videos on Geometry...His ass was mine and now he has pulled them all up...I am not happy about the C's in two classes, but next semester we will have the same rules starting out. He even has to study every day of break for an hour...

She needs to admit to everything and you need to meet with the teachers or at least call them. DH and I did that and SS was mortified...But, now everyone is on the same page. Dial back in and parent, but make her no, that failing is unacceptable.

NCMilGal's picture

Orchestra and cello lessons were an indulgence we gave to her, partially because BM always said it was too expensive. Orchestra is an elective and counts toward her class load, although there are other electives. Plus, she doesn't do sports, and that's the only thing she asked for, not name brand clothes, not electronics, not tattoos, so how, in the beginning of the year, were we to know that she'd be flunking?

She's actually good enough on clarinet that it may be the only source of scholarship money she's eligible for. Our income is too high for need based scholarships, and she was never eligible for academic scholarships. She will be going to community college and then transfer to UW if she makes it that far. She also thinks she will be paying for college, so we don't have those demands either.

I told her she needs to provide a note from her teachers and get her stuff done. We'll double check the note, and I'll try to meet with the teachers, but I won't be in the state full time until February.

NCMilGal's picture

And honestly, dealing with me is her best bet. When she has screwed up in the past, this is what she gets:

Stepfather: preaching about how she needs to let Jesus guide her down the right path, no actual practical help

BM: "How could you do this to me?? You are smarter than this! My life is so hard!" (No actual help in getting things done, just blame)

DH: "You need to do this and this"
SD17: "But, this is why it's not my fault"
DH: *rage, scream* (no follow through)

Me: "You need to do this and this"
SD17 "But..."
Me: "Do it or suffer the consequences I already spelled out. No, I don't care whose fault it is. Hop to!" And I'll be checking up on her daily. Her ass is mine.

If she fails to launch, it won't be MY fault.