The gist of it is that the author has a son who so far, isn't good at anything. The mother is desperately trying to force/find something for her child to be good at. She laughs about it, then goes on to add the above little ditty at the end. Which irritates me because it spreads far beyond just this child. She hasn't written much, and I think she makes some valid points about other issues, but her attitude toward raising her son is part of why we have so many under performing black children now. This isn't really to single this woman out, which is why I haven't included a link, but seriously... black mothers are dropping the ball all over the place.I should've been secure enough not to respond, right? Yeah, right:
There is an overwhelming propensity for people in the black community to blame the poor performance of our children on everything but our parenting skills. Now I realize its hard for any parent to fess up and say "wow, I really screwed my kid up," but in the black community there are too many of us not taking responsibility for our kids and EVEN MORE of us who are facilitating this mentality. I read the comments and not one person said what I am going to say right now:
How the F does your child miss 21 assignments and you as a parent do not know about it? If you have a child who you think needs special attention, why aren't you as a parent making sure he gets it?
I don't have any children, so I can understand that my comments might not be as moving as those who do. But if and when I do decide to have children... especially children who are still ripe for being molded into decent members of society, I will know how my child is doing in class WELL before Thanksgiving break. How will I know? Because before classes even start I will make sure my children's teachers know I do not play when it comes to grades... I will not have any fools running around claiming I am their mother. Not while they live under my roof anyway...
how effed up is it to almost totally give up on your child before he even hits high school? Because he hasn't fit into any of the standard molds you picked for him?
good grief, i should be at a point where i don't feel the need to defend myself to way wrong strangers, but, apparently that's another of my failings.Yes, I was an overachiever. Yes, that undoubtedly shapes my perspective. Yes, I want my son to develop skills, to be a strong student, and myriad other things. Yes, I want him to learn to take responsibilty for his actions or lack thereof. No, I am not the one implying that my child might miss his opportunity to be a decent citizen or that he's a "fool running around" or that hey, he's a hopeless underperformer because his mom dropped the ball!
the problem is not that he missed 21 assignments--a number of them were done at home and sent to school--but that he doesn't turn them in at school or that he gets them back for corrections and doesn't return them. his teacher is at a point where she refuses to individually ask him for assignments anymore. as a former teacher, i respect that--he needs to take responsibility and turn in his work at the assigned time. he knows the drill after almost a full semester. we have played the makeup work game since the end of august now.
and to refute your erroneous belief that somehow my eyes were not opened to my son's progress until Thanksgiving break (or that these assignments have accrued over the whole semester), let me point out that this was a report for the month of november. she gives me a weekly update about his missing assignments--assignments that can, for now, only be made up at school. i reinforce to him how important it is to do the work. she makes more copies and gives it to him to complete in study hall. some of it he completes. some of it he does not, thus allowing it to build up. i have a child who simply refuses to hand in his work and none of us can figure out why, though we are trying.
since you've determined that i've dropped the ball, i suppose it won't do much good to point out that my child is not a traditional special needs child--he tests on or slightly above grade level. or that i've had four conferences with his teacher, the last of which included the principal. or that we swap e-mails several times a week. or that i've had him start seeing a psychologist because all of us believe this is a behavioral problem--he's never had problems like this before, so something has definitely triggered this. or that, if you read some of my archives, you'll find that i've been a room parent and an active PTO member--I'm always at his school for one thing or another. or that i believe there is more to life than school, which is why i've tried to find extra-curricular niches for him.i've never once implied that i've given up on my child. and i'm sorry that i'm not so perfect that i don't get frustrated.
what is it exactly, that you have identified as "my attitude about raising my son?" on the advice of his psychologist and the principal, i've given up micromanaging his life--trying to make sure he does every assignment perfectly--because they say that this is part of the reason he won't take responsibility for his work.
ah, and then there's the "when i have a child, i'll..." mm-hmm. i said all those things about what a perfect mother with a perfect child i was going to be. and then reality happened. and playing about grades? do you really think that i, an academic, don't take grades seriously? honestly? but i'm interested to hear your suggestions--i've tried various forms of incentives and punishments. the psychologist and i are wrangling with school officials about having him moved into another class. short of sitting with him several hours a day at school, keeping him on task, and handing in the work myself, i'm at a loss for ideas.
you don't have to agree with my parenting style--that's cool. but dear lord, please acknowledge that their is more to the story--that is why regular commenters, who included my best friend, responded so supportively. because they know some of the struggles we've had.
but perhaps as troubling as your comments about my parenting are your snide remarks about black women in general. why the condescension towards us frat-party attending women and/or ball-dropping mamas and/or the black women commenters you feel coddled me on my blog? how effed up is it to dismiss all blogging sisters with your nose firmly in the air?
What I am saying, is that it worries me that my son has failed at so many things because I don't want his self-esteem destroyed. It frustrates me (and hell yeah, pisses me off--no apologies) when it takes us 3 hours to do homework and he won't turn it in. And yes, sometimes I have to laugh so I don't cry. But I never quit trying. I have never, ever claimed to be some goddess mother--y'all know that from all my various scenarios. But I love, love, love this little boy and I want him to have a good future. In my life, that has been tied to education or some prized skill set. I can't help wanting him to have those things.
And I can't help resenting the half-informed opinions of some condescending woman who's never been in shoes quite like mine.