Wednesday, August 27, 2008

My Teacher Likes It

I've said it once, I'm sure I'll say it a million more times during my lifetime...
Raising girls is not an easy task.

Then again, I don't think raising boys would be much easier. Either way, I tend to my daughter on a daily basis and despite my best effort, she has a way of making me question my success as a mother. (How do we measure success as a mother?)

See, my daughter started 1st grade this year and because we start school so early here, she has been in school for 3 weeks (plenty of time to get the hang of things.) My daughter LOVES to talk - always has and talking is her biggest problem area in school.

She is smart and does very well in the academic area, however, her conduct for talking has always been less than stellar. Last year we implemented a reward systems based on her daily color conduct chart. There were rewards for Green - Excellent and punishments for each color there after. The punishments were not severe, yellow was a loss of dessert with dinner, blue was a loss of a movie, dessert and cartoons the next morning before school and so on. She struggled with green last year. More often than not she had yellows, but there were those rare occasions where she would have a week of all green and her reward was a day at Chuck E Cheese. (She still asks for that as her BIG reward)

In preparation of this impending year I put a lot of thought into her behavior and what we would do about it. This year, she will get letter grades E, G, S, N, & U and for each there should be a reward/consequence. E&G = reward, S = loss of a privilege and N&U = punishment (I pray everyday I don't see these letters.) Being that she is getting older (thinks she is grown) I want to provide her more of an incentive in the areas that I think she will struggle...E. It's not that I think she can't do it, but more along the lines of probably won't do it because she likes to tell me, "Mom, it's ok...I just like to talk."

So with a system in place we start the year. Her goal is to get an E and for every E she gets during the month, I will give her $1 at the end of the month to do with as she pleases. For an entire week of E&G I will take her to Chuck E Cheese or some other activity of her choice. She is excited with this idea.

The first week comes and goes and there are no E's. She did good, G & S...and some almost E's but almost doesn't count I explain to her. Week 2 comes and goes and she has E, G, and S. She is very excited to have earned $2 that week - we mark it on her calender so she can keep track of it. Week 3 begins and so far this week she has gotten E's on both days.

She is VERY excited.

I am very excited for her.

Then she informs me...her TEACHER likes her to get E's.

But...but...what about me? What about MOM? You know, the one who wants her to do her best? Doesn't mom like her to get E's?

I won't complain too loudly, because at least she cares...I just wonder if my success as a parent - my ability to motivate my child to do well is really a reflection of me or her teacher?!

I am amazed at how one little girls statement can reduce me to a questioning I just stare in the mirror and repeat... I am the momma. I AM THE MOMMA!

Do your kids ever make you question yourself? Did your teachers or your parents opinion matter more?


Kimmylyn said...

My boys always make me question my parenting..but then again.. as a kid that is their job.. :)

I found that I wanted to impress both growing up. I was the nerd type that strived for good grades for both my mom and "some" of my teachers...

Why is being a Mom so hard? :)

GoteeMan said...

It's such a challenge sometimes, balancing discipline with performance, without breaking their spirits and without creating "people pleasers" and performers.

I have one who likes to talk alot (but he's a BOY)... and it was getting him into some stuff, but he has pretty much outgrown it at school at this point... all part of his growing up, I suppose...


A Buns Life said...

The same reason why our children typically behave better for other parents than for us....I figure we are doing our job right if they listen to their teachers and other parents and behave as they should when they are away from us and then give us all the trouble.....they feel the most comfortable to be themselves around the ones they love the most. Lucky us!

Rachel said...

Thanks for swinging by

My daughter is starting preschool next month so I am just starting to enter this situation. We'll see how things turn out....

*sweats bullets*


They definitely make me questions myself (and my sanity). But I heard an explanation for this years ago and I always remembered it...things like that are really a backhanded compliment to us as mothers, because with us, they know we love them unconditionally so they don't have to work for our love & approval. But with others, they don't have that confidence so they try harder to impress them. It makes sense to me and I have to remind myself of that at times!

Caffeine Court said...

My girls are absolute angels at school and when visiting with other people. They definitely show their ugly side with me!

If I had to choose between the two, I'd keep things as they are, although I do wish they'd listen to me a little bit better. I think I need to be more consistent.