Sunday, February 15, 2009

You're Grounded

I get a kick out of telling my son, for any minor or perceived offense, "You're grounded!" What strikes me as funny is he will get all flustered and as a retort he will fling back "No, YOU're Grounded!"

OK imagine for a second, if you can, what YOUR parents would have done if you threw that back at them. I know, I know, I was kidding around and therefore I don't take offense. But it really tickles me that he knows how to call me on my crap and we can laugh about it. He also knows when to fear the cranky old man, so I still have that going for me.

Currently he is really grounded. His grades are not what they should be, we all knew it was coming to this and we hoped he would put in the effort on his own (like we have trained him to do for all these years) but that level of maturity is not there yet. Please do not get me wrong. I am not mad. I am not angry and I do not want to set a standard for him that he can not meet. We have a line he has to meet and by all rules of child development, IF we stick to it, he will in turn, internalize those beliefs and standards. So when he starts bringing home grades less than a "B" he is grounded. We all know, his teachers all know, HE knows that with just a little effort there is no way he will make less than a B. The kid is very bright, but like many teens, he would rather play video games and watch TV than do homework.

My father likes to point out there are many ways the boy can grow up and take care of himself that do not travel down the road of academia. Actually he says it more like, "Hell, you don't need an education if you got common sense and are willing to work hard."

To which I can only respond, "Have you Never MET your grandson?? He has NEVER been WILLING to work hard! That's why his ass is grounded in the first place!" So the end result is when his grades drop he can no longer play video games (I will allow Wii Sports and Wii Fit)nor watch TV unless it is a show others are watching. There are no friend sleep overs and no computer. That grounding is until his grades are improved on the next report card. Trust me, that is a LONGGGGG time to be without when you are 13 or 14 years old.

But this year his life changed at a bad time. He was born on Valentine's Day and that means he was grounded over his birthday. No friends over, no sleep overs, and I nearly didn't let him play his video games, but he got a 24 hour reprieve for the day of the 14th. The thing is, I told him he was not living up to the responsibility of a real 14 year old and I did not think he should be allowed to turn 14 until his grades proved he merited the advancement.

"Wait! You said you would take me out driving some this summer when I was 14. You wouldn't let a 13 year old drive."

"That's right son, better luck next year. Maybe your grades will be up and you can drive when you turn 14 next time around."

"But... But.. But... "

"You see, as a parent I have to decide when it is appropriate to allow you to advance, and you are not showing the level of responsibility it will take to be 14. I only do this because I love you, and while you are way too immature to understand it now, it is for your own best interest later on in life.. when you are more mature and can understand."

Yes he knows I did this to his sister at age five. Yes he knows I am kidding with him. Yes I am having a great time and enjoying him squirm. Life is good and my kids are never allowed to grow up and leave me alone with the crazy nap lady they call Mom.

Well this year his shot hit the fan at a bad time of the year for him


Avitable said...

I think your dad might also be unaware of how academia can help in almost every single job out there, too.

I got grounded quite a bit when I was in high school. Not for grades - I had perfect grades - but for being a little shithead.

Lisa said...

Good Luck with the grounding and grades and whatnot. We went through this with our now 19 y/o at the same age.. grief we went through it all the way thru HS.

If you don't already have mail from the school sent to your work address.. you may want to consider that. Ours started raiding the mail .. and we didn't find out about some grades situation until almost too late.

When ours were younger, we paid a small amount for grades.. but if they dropped below a certain level.. they had to pay US!! That worked for a while...but not long enough.

I have no idea if there is a solution.. other than to be the oldest child.

Cris said...

Avi: Well truth e told his problem is more shithead than intelligence

Lisa: Good idea about the grades coming to the office. And yes, the oldest is a much better student... on the other hand I am the second child out of 2.