OK, I admit it, I’m probably one who needs a little work on this particular attribute. I’m a relatively high strung guy, and I tend to get excited about stuff and I’m the King of hyper-motivation when it comes to getting some things done. It’s one of the reasons I work well as a Scoutmaster; I’m little more than a kid in a grown-up’s body, plus I have the emotional energy to match it many times. This is great when the emotions and the circumstances are positive. It also, however can be a huge negative when the emotions and circumstances are negative. In short, I tend to overreact to bad news, especially when it relates to members of my family.
The recent challenge du jour has been in regards to homework. For the most part, my kids are good students; generally bright, articulate, and get things done when they need to be… however, we seem to have run into a rough patch when it comes to one child's math class… they're looking to be getting a C.
Now, understand, I wouldn’t mind if the issue was struggling with Math and that was the best they were able to do. I certainly wasn’t a Math wiz when I was younger, so I got my share of C’s, too. That’s not what’s got me up in arms. What has me so frustrated and agro about all this is that the reasons the grade is so low is because of missing assignments, and a fairly big project that needed to be done on the computer at school, a lost password, and no mention of the fact until it was too late. THIS is what set me off.
I’m a firm believer in letting people do what they need to do in the manner that best works for them. I also realize that my way isn’t necessarily the best way for everyone. I discovered when I went back to school full time in 2003 that my peak learning hours were between 4:00 AM and 8:00 AM, with a gradual drop off from there and a real wall being hit around 2:00 PM. Thus, I can understand if another way of doing things needs to be done, as long as it gets done. However, it looks like that “getting done” isn’t happening, even with Mom cajoling and pushing. Thus, now it is time for Dad to get involved.
I know Christina tends to dread bringing these situations up with me, because I’m not one who handles situations like this in a cool manner. See, I tend to get over emotional about stuff like this because it was a lackadaisical attitude and a sloppy and disorganized approach to life that doomed me to the lower reaches of GPA during my middle and high school years. I vowed I would not let my kids do the same thing. Thus, I tend to fly off the handle when it comes to stuff like this. You’d think I’d be empathetic and understanding, but you’d be wrong, oh so very, very wrong!
See, I’m one of those people that abhor and react most violently regarding others to the traits I most recognize in myself, especially the ones I greatly dislike:
I know I’m disorganized.
I know I procrastinate.
I know that I rely way too heavily on a “fly by the seat of my pants and wing it” philosophy in my personal and professional life.
I’m also trying very hard to change those aspects about me and my life, sometimes successfully, sometimes not so much. However, I can spot it in anyone else a mile away, and I am swift and merciless when it comes to dealing with it in others. Yes, I am aware that that makes me a world class and monumental hypocrite, but I’ve come to appreciate the fact that my existence at times is best exemplified when I am a warning sign to others (LOL!). In other words, my response very often is “shape up, unless you want to end up like ME!!!”
This is my way of apologizing to everyone for waking them out of a sound sleep on Monday night while Mom and I discussed this particular issue, and to also apologize to one child who received a moderately rude awakening and a fairly stern talking to about how we were going to be allocating their time for the next several weeks, until the end of the semester. This child was informed that they have now been assigned a micro-manager for their schoolwork… ME!!! It also means that they are going to have to get used to a different way of turning work in, as it has to be proofed and initialed by me before it goes out the door, and the teacher in question will know that I will be keeping tabs and following up. Here’s hoping that good and thorough work up front will prove to be the path of least resistance.
I’m sure it will be much more favorable compared to "psycho daddy" as a homework warden (LOL!).