I told you about the homework dilemma. Now I’ll describe the solution.
After some discussion with Mike (he raised his step-daughter, who is now 22, and went through a very similar thing with her during her high school years) and this is what I came up with:
- All gaming screen privileges are gone until they have caught up on assignments and I hear from their teachers that they are passing (I gathered up all the hand-held devices: iPod, DS, 3DS and PSP and took the cords for the Wii and put them in a plastic box and locked them in trunk of Mike’s car – that’s so I don’t cave and give them back before they’ve earned the privilge back).
- I asked Mike to put a password on the desktop computer that even I don’t know so I can’t cave on that either (I know me and I’ll cave).
- They are allowed TV but only after homework and chores are done to my satisfaction. Alexi sat at the table the other night for 3 hours staring at the same two math sheets. It was hard to watch but I prevailed.
Rian has been working diligently all week on 2 of her overdue English assignments. I’m very proud of how she has stepped up to the plate; acknowledged her mistake and is taking the initiative to correct it. She worked one evening for 5 hours on her To Kill a Mockingbird assignment. I was so pleased.
Alexi’s still struggling with the program, but I have faith that he’ll come around. Once the withdrawal symptoms subside (from loss of computer screens) I’m sure he’ll show me what he’s really capable of academically.
The problem with this program is I feel like a monster. I don’t think Alexi telling me “you took away everything that matters to me” helped me feel better about this solution. I know it’s the right thing to do. I know I have to remain consistent and firm. I just get tired of being the heavy all the time, but that is a burden of single parenting. When it starts to get me down I try to keep this in mind: