Friday, March 7, 2008

You Can Lead A Horse To Water

This week has been particularly rough at our house. The first problem occured at 1:20am Monday morning when our son came into our bedroom complaining that he didn't feel well. He often will say that when he just doesn't feel like sleeping, but then he stated that his room was really hot. After checking his forehead and finding it warm I began the hunt for a thermometer that works. It shouldn't be hard to find one when there are three, but the first didn't work, the second one my son had removed the batteries from for a toy and hadn't told us, and the third was MIA. So I headed to Wal-mart, at least this was one time it wasn't crowded, and purchased some more medicine and a new thermometer. Getting back I found that David's temperature was 100.0. So after a dose of medicine and checking his tempertature until 4am, there was no school for Monday and no work done my Mom.

David and me on the porch swing
Tuesday he really tried to convince us that he was sick when he wasn't. He was hoping for another day off of school, but we weren't buying it. He tried to convince the school he was sick and when that didn't work he decided to tick everyone off at school—teachers, his one-on-one, classmates, the vice principal—so he got his wish, another suspension. This suspension was for five full days, making it a whole hour and a half in school this week. During all suspensions we have worked him harder than when he goes to school but this has not worked. This time he is doing "community service", I have taken him to the church and he has been vacuuming, dusting, fixing the pew cards, stuffing bulletins. I also made him help Miss Peg, who takes care of the flowers at the church. So he spent hours pulling weeds, picking up sticks and disposing of debris. He will return to school on Tuesday and hopefully stay there this time.

I have told the school that if he doesn't improve his work or grades this year I will fight to make sure they do not push him into the eigth grade. I am worried that they may push him through, thereby teaching him that he doesn't have to work and will still be rewarded. Not a work ethic I want my child to learn. David was born in May, so making him repeat this year will not put him so much older than his classmates. My hope is that next year he will have learned his lesson of staying in school and completing the work.

As parents, so often the school holds us responsible for making sure our children do their work—but there is only so much we can do. I have told several teachers and the vice principal that I want to be informed, but that teachers need to be very careful in understanding that if he does not complete the work, they should not expect me to "make sure" it gets done. We go over homework that must be done and he is not allowed to play until it is completed. Often he doesn't complete the work and often he doesn't turn it in even if he does complete it, but there is only so much that I can do as a parent. I won't be "guilted" into completing it for him, however, I have sat with him often and gone over each question or problem with him. As the saying goes, "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink."

1 comment:

Becky K. said...

Hang in there and stick to your convictions.

I love that you are keeping him busy even when he is not at school.

You really need lots and lots of prayer to deal with these challenges. I'll be praying for you this week.

Becky K.