bipolar mom shares her insights on everyday life

Posts tagged ‘middle school’

Whirrrr…Whirrrr…

Okay, that was supposed to be the sound of helicopter rotors.  Did anyone think that?  Oh, well. Titles are tough. Moving on…

I am having trouble deciding how to balance between being a mom who lets her kids learn responsibility on their own and being a helicopter parent.

My son is a Freshman. I asked one of my son’s teachers if hounding him to do an ongoing project was “helicoptering.” She was very vague. So, in other words, not helpful. But, then again she’s probably half my age and doesn’t have kids. She said things like, “If he would work on his project for an hour a day instead of waiting until the last minute, that would be beneficial.” Well, duh. My question is, “Do I treat him like I did when he was in elementary school and tell him, ‘You can’t be with your friends until you complete an hour on this project?'” Does that teach him independence?

My daughter is different. She’s doing very well in school. In most classes. One class she is bombing. I don’t know how to help her. We study for the test (it’s math, by the way), and she gets it. She takes the test and BOOM! Bad news. I asked her how her homework grade can be 100%, then get so many wrong on the test. Apparently, the homework is just an “effort” grade. If you do the homework, you get 100%, regardless of how well you do on it. Well, that explains why the homework doesn’t figure into the final grade, but it’s a little misleading.

But, she’s in 7th grade. I don’t have as much of an issue with making her sit down and work on the math with me each day. She’s still learning “the ropes.” But, am I doing the Freshman any good by “mothering” him? In just 3 1/2 years, he’ll be in college. On his own. Certainly as far as studying goes.  His grades are good. No complaints. Do I just let it go?

When I was in MOPS (Mothers of PreSchoolers), someone said, “When your kids get older, it doesn’t get easier. It just gets different.”  Amen, sister!

It’s Now an Official Tradition

Last year, Karen entered middle school, so I took she and Mark to Five Guys and they spent the time discussing what to expect, how things are different from elementary school, etc.

Yesterday, Karen and I took our neighbor to Five Guys to do the same thing.  Our neighbor had lots of questions, and seemed very happy with Karen’s answers.  It was so strange to see the role-reversal, though.  There was Karen looking all mature and answering questions, when just a year ago, she looked all small and unsure of the future.

Sure, she probably provided her friend with more information than she needed, “I sat at Table 2-5 for lunch.  Let me draw you a diagram of the tables.”  Her friend just wanted to know if you could sit anywhere, or if there were assigned seats.  🙂  But, she seemed to really enjoy the time together. 

The typical questions came up.  “When can you go to your lockers?” “Isn’t it really crowded when everyone is at their lockers?”  “How do you change clothes in the locker room for PE?” I really liked Karen’s response to that one.  “It is kind of creepy at first.  You’ll want to go in the bathroom stall and change, but everyone tries to do that, so it doesn’t work.  Really, it’s not that weird after awhile, because everyone is doing it. Plus, I wore an undershirt, so that made it easier.”  The look on her friend’s face was one of huge relief. I’d forgotten what a big deal that was.

She thanked me at least three times for taking her to lunch.  She’s a wonderful girl, and I’m sure she’ll do fine.  And, as Karen said, “You don’t have to wave at me if you don’t want to.  But, if you are having a bad day or just need a smile, give me a wave, and I’ll wave right back and say, “Hi Maggie!”” What more could a girl ask for?  ha

Now THAT’S Why I’m a Mom!

I absolutely love my kids.  I’ve told them several times that I wish I could freeze them at the ages they are.  They can do stuff on their own.  They don’t need to be entertained 24/7.   And, they are just plain fun to be around.

Yesterday I took them to Five Guys Burgers and Fries for a “Good Luck at School” lunch.  Tom doesn’t really care for it, and they both really like it, so it was the perfect outing.

We three sat there and laughed and laughed.  It was great fun.  Then, Mark gave Karen “words of wisdom” about middle school.  That’s when I almost cried.  Here were my two babies, talking about middle school.  He was explaining the lunch procedure (which, as I recall, was the one thing he was most nervous about when he was entering 6th grade), and she had tons of questions. 

THIS is why I wanted to do this.  I wanted my kids to get a chance to sit down and talk like two human beings about things that were important to them.  They get along so well (for the most part), and this was a time for Mark to be the “older brother” that I knew he’d always be.  Nurturing, caring, and wise.  She was hanging on to every word he said.  Asking questions that she might not have been comfortable asking anyone else.  And, there was no rolling of the eyes during the entire conversation.  Has to be a world record.  For both of them.

I am so blessed.

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