I figured parenting wasn't going to be a walk in the park. But I didn't know it would be a walk in the park on the bad side of town at two AM. Teenagers.
Many of you know we homeschooled for nine years. This is the children's third year in "real" school, or public school. The system they're in is fantastic - no complaints. It's the children in my house I take issue with.
At first I blamed myself, having taught them for so long. Maybelline, for instance, has had pretty poor grades the last year and more. Pulls herself out of the hole at the last minute. She's a social child. But she proved, her first year out, that she is capable of making decent grades, that she's smart and can work hard.
Then this happened:
She discovered friends. And the telephone. Don't get me wrong - she had friends before. Just not so MANY of them.
So here we are, into the third year and millionth conversation about working hard and making decent grades, since she says she wants to go to college, and we want her to learn that life isn't a free ride. We've grounded, taken away phone privileges, whatever we could think of. I help her study. When she lets me. (She does better on tests when I help her, and I'm not pushy about it - she tells me that her grades are better that way, but that she doesn't want to take the time - *sigh*)
So the Hunny came up with a solution that might work. I told the Hunny last night, when I'd been up till eleven helping Maybelline study for a test she knew nothing about, that he will almost definitely be implementing this solution. Sooner than he thought he'd have to.
Photo actually a Martin Grand, from acoustic guitar forum
Maybelline and my mom were antique shopping a couple of weeks ago and came across one just like it. It's a Washburn '79 twelve string. Maybelline fell madly in love, convinced dad to take her back to look at it. She was drooling. He was drooling. The price was WAY more than right. Hunny bought it, had it restrung.
When it came home, though, Hunny let Maybelline play for half an hour, then put it in the corner of the living room. Had a talk with Maybelline about her already slipping grades and our seeming inability to motivate or inspire her to work hard and be responsible for herself and her future. Asked her what grades she was capable of.
Then the kicker. Hunny tells Maybelline that the guitar will sit in the corner until Christmas. She can have a half hour of playing time as we go along, if her grades come up and stay up. If she makes and keeps the grades she states she's capable of, she can keep the guitar come Christmas. If not? We sell it. Plain and simple.
As of last night, I think selling the Washburn is probably what's going to happen. Consequences suck. Big time. For everyone. I love seeing her happy and creative. Hate seeing her cry. But we've gotta do what's best for her. *sigh*
Any advice you care to solicit is gladly welcomed.
Until I write again ...