A prisoner to pre-teen impulse

It scares me sometimes how much my mood depends on events that I have no control over. Every day my daughter is picked up from school by a local program which gives her a safe place to do her homework, followed by a Tae Kwon Do lesson. While it has done wonders for her focus and confidence, it doesn’t always work out so well as a place to get her homework done… although she has done much better this year.

Every day I leave my office at 3:30 to go home and start the evening routine: get a little laundry started, do a little dinner prep; and every day I wonder if Beth is doing her homework. I know that if I want her to grow up to be responsible I can’t be one of those parents who constantly looks over her shoulder. There’s a line somewhere between allowing her to learn the consequences of her actions herself (so that responsible behavior is self rewarding), and not allowing her to fail too much, too often. As I’ve said at length before, my biggest problem as a parent is figuring out where those lines should be drawn.

The good news is that so far this year, Beth has done better this year. It’s a good thing too. She’s getting more homework than I did my junior and senior years in high school. (That or we’re just making her do more than I did.)

I wonder if anyone has done any studies to see if there’s any correlation between birth order and various forms of deviancy? It seems like first born children aren’t much more than on the job training for starter parents. By the time my son was born I felt like I was qualified to teach a graduate level course on infant development. Meanwhile, I haven’t even started my undergrad degree in adolescent education.

Are those grey clouds on the horizon?

Oops. It’s almost five… it’s time for me to go to my lab class.

Give the gift of words.