Growing up I did not have issues with school, meaning, my parents rarely had to check on me if I was doing my homework etc. I really only remember one time when I had a book report due and I had not read the book. I remember my parents giving me what I assume was coffee to try to stay up to read the book. They definitely weren't happy but other than that I was on my own. My parents, well, really my mom had high expectations for me and therefore so did I. I wanted and had to get A's. Obviously, some classes were harder than others but I tried to get good grades. I didn't miss homework assignments or any of that stuff. So, with this as my experience I'm struggling with how to cope with Teen's struggles in school. I used to blame it on the fact that I did not raise her but Seena is not progressing as quickly as she should in school. This is a killer for me. She's my flesh and blood and she's already struggling, well, maybe that's a bit exaggerated, she is only in Kindergarten but still. The teacher keeps reassuring me that it will "click" and I know it will. I see an improvement everyday, slow but it's there. I've resorted to labeling things in my house ....M for microwave, F for fireplace, V for vase, etc. I even made letter necklaces for G and I to wear around the house. And everything is letters...any games we play, anywhere we go, I'm constantly pointing out and asking what the letter is and what it sounds like. Volunteering in her class isn't helping me grasp this either. Some of the other kids breeze right through their letters. I know every kid is different but she's mine, I thought she was going to be just like me.
Anyway, this post was intended for Teen so I have to get back on track. After our "incident" I really struggled with getting past my anger and wanting to stay involved in Teen's life. I talked to friends and my family. I cried when I was told that I was fighting a losing battle. If Teen did not want to succeed nothing I did would make a difference. And as much as I believed and understood that, I couldn't accept it. It is not in my nature. My mom and I had a long talk and that's probably where I cried the most. And she asked me an interesting question....why was I trying so hard? Why was I trying to "fix" her? And I realized that's what I do. It's what I've always done. Growing up I was always on top of my sister, making sure she was doing what she was suppose to be doing. If she got herself in a mess, I fixed it. I still do it now. I'm the one that deals with all of legal matters, management issues, I write all of the letters, I still follow up on my sister and sometimes my brother. I most certainly have that same role in my household. Now, I know I can't change anyone but I do everything in my power to try to make sure those around me do not fail, get hurt or get in trouble. I don't do the work for them, at least I try not to, but I'm always there to pick up the pieces if need be. Does this suck sometimes? Sure. Is this taken for granted,\? Sure. But it is what it is. It's my role. I actually get more anxiety when things go wrong when they really shouldn't than with the fact that I feel like I'm the one having to "do" everything. So when Teen forgets to turn HW or fails a test, it's like I failed. I feel like it's my fault. I should have been more on top of her assignments or her study schedule.
I tried to follow the advice of letting go. I really did. I told her that I was no longer going to get involved and if she did not want to succeed than that was on her. I reassured her that I believed in her, as I always have, but that I was not going to try so hard when she didn't care. Yeah, that lasted less than a day. I couldn't do it. I felt like I was giving up on her. G tried to help. He wrote up a schedule and pushed the studying but I couldn't keep myself out of it. It's not in my nature. After several talks, many arguments of schedules and studying, many times to be told to "chill out" and a parent/teacher conference, we all seem to be on the same page. I think Teen is understanding that high school is not like middle school and she needs to study everyday. And I'm understanding to let Teen think she's managing her own schedule :)
The outcome of all my pushing and nagging .... we got a call from Teen's math teacher last week. Teen passed her retake test with a 78 and is receiving a passing grade for the semester! I'm sure I embarrassed the hell out of her in front of her friend. I jumped up and down with joy and covered her head in kisses. I knew she could do it. I've always known she could do it. There's no way I can let her fail knowing this. It's not in my nature.
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