Dancer Girl, who officially became a teenager well over a year ago, has finally decided to start acting like one. And I don’t mean in a good way. Suddenly, my very responsible stereotypical first-born child has morphed into someone who’d just as soon live in a pig sty of a room and who doesn’t care about the fact that her grades are suffering because of lack of study time.
I’d like to blame it on hormones, but I know those kicked in a while back. I really believe the trigger, at least on the grades front, was that this year is the first time she’s ever really had to put much effort into school. She’s on an accelerated track that involves taking high school classes while still in middle school–last year she took Algebra I, and this year she’s taking Geometry and Earth Science for high school credit. And the Earth Science class is eating her lunch.
For a while I was sympathetic, but this semester I’ve had an epiphany and realized that yes, it’s difficult, and yes, there are some issues with some of the teaching methods, but a BIG portion of her difficulty comes from lack of understanding of how to study and the amount of studying it takes to master difficult material. She’s truly never been in the situation where she wasn’t able to “just get” the material. The good news is that she’s learning these lessons now and not next year when it will actually affect her GPA since courses taken before 9th grade are on a P/F basis only.
All that being said, it’s been up to Adventure Guy and me to teach her the steps she needs to take, and, of course, in her mind we are completely unreasonable in these expectations.(What, read the chapter? All of it? What, study more than the night before a test?) It’s made for some less-than-blissful moments around the house.
Couple this with a general bad attitude about chores and life in general, and I am about ready to trade her in. As Adventure Guy said, “And we thought having kids would be a good thing because….?” But, we’re taking deep, cleansing breaths and remembering that this stage will pass as well. Unfortunately, we’ve got another twelve years to go before we are finished with having teenagers in the house.
It’s just a good thing I can remember how cute she used to be. And, as I told her yesterday after being on the receiving end of one too many dirty looks, “I don’t care if you are happy; you’d just better do a good job of looking happy when you’re around me.” I’ll let you know how that works.