February 05, 2010,
J.O. asks from Stony Brook, NY on February 04, 2010
7Th Grade Son Missed Honor Roll Be Less Then a Point
Hi I have a question and I need some help because my husband and I totally disagree. My 7th grade son's report card just showed up today. My husband called me at work FURIOUS. My son has maintained an above 90 average since the 6th grade. Had he gotten a 90 or above this quarter he was eligible to join the Jr Honor Society. Needless to say his report card has an 89.37 average and my husband is furious! "He is ruining his future, he needs to understand he cant F this up..etc" . He went up in Science by a couple points and everything else went down about a point or two except for gym which went from a 98 to a 92 (unbelievably dumb.. but...it is what it is) ... Anyway his progress report for this last quarter was not good (disruptive, etc) so we grounded him and took away games, phone etc ...
Anyway this is the problem - I don't really have an issue with the average.. I think it stinks and I think he is going to be disappointed (as I am as well) ... but my husband is ready to ground him for the rest of the quarter until his next report card - I feel as though that is a little extreme. I want to sit down with my son and explain to him AGAIN how important this is and how he needs to be consistent.. etc.. ask him if there are any tools he is missing where is feels that improvement can be made, what we can do etc.. my husband says no-- "we've done that.. he needs to be severely punished this time" ... any advice...? This is the first year that he has had to switch classes and have different teachers and even tho he did well the first 2 quarters, he still may be adjusting.. he's a good kid.. but tends to be a little on the lazy side.. I just don't think grounding is going to help - I think , knowing him, that he will be resentful and may end up not caring about school more... I explained this to my husband.. he doesnt by it.. Am I just being naive?
1 mom found this helpful
So What Happened?™
Ok great.. I have to defend my husband a little tho :) .. He did call me so that he could vent to me because he knows how he can get and when I bring something to his attention he does make EVERY effort to change his behavior if it is detrimental to anyone in anyway.. I have been with him since I was 16 and I am in my mid 30's now and he has never had a problem doing that... So he did call TO vent so he WOULDNT attack our son.. he calls me to be able to become rational again :) I just wanted to make sure that people would back me up and that I wasn't just being too protective of my son.. as I do expect good grades.. And too me the 89 is great.. Hubby mad about honor roll.. He has to get past that.. and take it from now on.. Thank you for all of the comments - I really think that I am am right in the situation but I don't want to make it a right or wrong thing.. I want us to be on the same page about this... So thank you again!! This is my first time even on the site and I think it's amazing! My kids are 13 and 10 lol wish I found this site earlier... !!
R.S. answers from New York on February 04, 2010
I am a doctor, and, believe me, having gone through years and years of schooling, and taken many standardized tests - an 89 in the 7th grade is a drop in the bucket. It is not a big deal, it just isn't. Even the Honor Roll - while nice to be on it, nice to brag about it when you are the parent - in middle school is also not a big deal. It's not like you can put it on your resume when you turn 21. I say, take it easy on your kid. Praise him for his efforts, first and foremost. Ask him how he feels about his grades - he may have already realized he should have worked harder, and, if this is the case, there is no reason to ground him since he knows where he's gone astray already. Then, you can, if you would like, push him to try harder. Personally, if it was my kid, I would not - there are more things in this world to talk about than missing the Honor Roll in middle school by less than a point.
If it helps, I missed being valedictorian by less than a point. Thankfully, my parents did not care, and neither did I, and now, no one cares. Life goes on.
3 moms found this helpful
R.J. answers from San Diego on February 04, 2010
I'm SO gald you updated!!! :) And it really is very cool that your DH called and vented with you first so that your son wasn't the target and that you guys handle things proactively.
As someone who has both had a meltdown and was completely devastated that her 3.989 slipped to a 3.984 AND who in a particular irritation with a certain teacher decided to handwrite all of her papers non-mirror inverted backwards -so she couldn't just hold them up to a mirror and read them) and was secretly irritated that the teacher still passed instead of failing me...(aka both incredibly anal about grades and very loose with them at different times in my life). I would suggest coming up with "Plan A" ((Aka what you want to do)) and then before implementing that having a sit down with you son and putting the ball in his court.
Tell him you and DH have already come up with what you think would be an appropriate response to the grades... but are willing to table that without even saying what plan A is, if your son can come up with a "better" response.
Especially with responsible kids, their answers can surprise you. Both in their harshness, methodology, and the reasons for what they're doing. It also gives you more ground to work with (aka, if feels something was unjust, it opens the conversation for him having a talk with the teacher about the grade -and how to go about it in a responsible way- to see if the teacher will either change it, explain why it was just, or give advice/tips/pointers on how to do better in that teacher's eyes next quarter). It also starts to teach a proactive student approach that will serve him well in his educational career... the self monitoring, periodic review of what's going on, and the innate power that most students have to alter their own course.
Best of Luck!!
1 mom found this helpful
S.H. answers from Honolulu on February 04, 2010
Your Husband has a problem. Big time.
One day... if he keeps it up, your son is going to retaliate or rebel against him.
This is not "military" boot camp, this is 7th grade... and your son has "put up with" your Husband long enough. If that were me... I wold run away from home.
Your Husband is TOO TOO TOO hard on your son...
Is YOUR husband educated? Sounds like your Husband is living through your son.. perhaps.
Your Husband... if going to RUIN any kind of son/Father bonding that may exist, and he is going to make your son really despise him.
Your Husband is not being a "Dad"... he is being a mean ol' man.
Your son, is only going to put up with it for only so long. You know that don't you?
All the best,
Y.C. answers from New York on February 04, 2010
I feel sorry for you, I think you want to be a team with your husband but this time I think you have to stand up for your son.
I understand a little bit your husband, I never did very well at school because my mom was working to hard she couldn't help me out.
Now that I grow I see how important it was and I tell my 11 year old all the time. I actually always ask for "A" but secretly get glad with a B if I saw her trying. This year she start liking boys and some girls became a more in to boys and look pretty, I also noticing boys being interested in girls and trying to look cool. Is not only a school change but they are becoming teenagers! I wish my bigger problem is my daughter having a bad grade and not something else.
I think your son's grades are good, of course your and your husband know him better and you know what he is capable to do.
Encourage your son to get better because you know he can, but tell him that you understand all the changes that he is and will go thru.
Talk to your husband a maybe even show him the post of the other moms.
Wait, now that I remember, I use to know this boy in highschool, he stop going to school and start working with his father in their business (a tortilla store!!), my mom didn't want me to date him because he leave school and he work in a tortilla store, short story, years later he open many business (they still own most of the tortillas stores in the town, plus many other bussines) and is one of the most rich guys in our hometown, lol.
I am not saying that is ok to give up school, I wish I did best my self, what I am saying is that grades are not the ONLY way to have an amazing future.
Damn I should have date this guy years ago, lol.
S.S. answers from Binghamton on February 05, 2010
He is 12 and his hormones are going crazy. Maybe you and your husband could look at one of the websites that details the changes going on in an adolescent brain. It might help him understand what is going on with his son and that there are a lot of emotions that he cannot understand or control right now.
I agree with you: If you take drastic steps, he will be resentful and might cut off his nose to spite his face, ie start working less just to show you you can't control him. Kids often experience a drop in performance around 7th and 8th grade. Talk to his teachers to see if they think there is any support you can give him, but I do think severe punishment will only achieve the opposite of what you want, which is to motivate and inspire him. There must be positive ways he can be motivated, things he likes in particular to help him put that extra bit of work in that will make the difference.
L.A. answers from Chicago on February 04, 2010
I personally think your son is doing a great job. This is coming from a mom with a 6th grade daughter that struggles a bit. He is less then a point away from an A average, how can that be bad.
You said it yourself, he is a good kid, and he is adjusting to middle school. We start middle school in 6th grade, so I am going through this change with my duaghter right now. If you put to mush pressure on him, he may pull back and rebel.
I say let him know he did an awesome job, and discuss with him how he felt about the quarter. Maybe it was the teacher, or a different teaching method.
C.W. answers from Dallas on February 04, 2010
Does the 89 average make your son unworthy somehow? Relax! I'm sure he is doing the best he can. If there is no evidence of him "slipping" on purpose (i.e. not doing homework, not studying for tests, etc.) then give him a break. It really is not the end of the world. If your son is anything like my kids he will be himself up enough.
S.B. answers from Minneapolis on February 04, 2010
Sounds like MY house - I have a 12 yr old son (6th grade), who could apply himself better but is a bit on the lazy side and it will sometimes show in his grades. His dad goes WAY OVERBOARD and grounds him for weeks for a missing/late assignment, etc. I don't agree. However, it isn't a whole lot better for us to argue about punishing him, either. I did make the decision to let him handle the "punishment" for school stuff and now I have to live with it. What I DO do is ask his dad to first let me know what he is going to do for a punishment for something before he does it. And then I talk to him about making sure that it is a punishment HE can handle. I have explained to him that when he punishes our son for 2 weeks, it is somewhat of a punishment for me since I have to deal with a grounded kid for two weeks, not him. So, the rule is he can take care of the punishment but HE has to be responsible for monitoring/handling it, not me. I will support his decision, but I am not going to "carry it out." That's not a partnership, it's a dictatorship.