Tuesday, September 29, 2009

What's a Mother to do?

Clip art courtesy of http://kentmemoriallibrary.org

It's been one month since Bethany started her freshman year at the charter school. There are daily tears, stories of boys behaving badly and immodest girls.

Last night, however, was particularly difficult: it appears that her project partner neglected to email Bethany her portion of a major project that is due today. My daughter, then, spent all day yesterday trying to finish said project on her own, unable to fully enjoy and take advantage of a rare "teacher work day". Then the printer decides to act up and thus began the waterworks.

I keep telling her it will get better, but now I'm beginning to wonder and to second guess myself.

What's a mother to do?
(for those with teenage daughters, who have "been there/done that",
any and all advice would be greatly appreciated)


Jephy's Mom said...

Others may not agree with this advice but I tell my kids, always plan to do the work yourself. It happens all the time with group projects and complaining about it to the teacher does not seem to help. No, it's not fair but it will get you the grade you deserve. I don't worry about the other student getting a good mark for doing nothing. The flip side, is every once in a while, you get in a good group, and you can really appreciate the flavour that results from the different perspectives. I take a lot of courses and this is how I do it. Works for me.

Jephy's Mom said...

P.S. My heart goes out to Bethany. I have no daughters (only boys behaving badly) so I can't think of anything to share. But from what I've seen of her on your blog, you don't need any advice - you've raised a really fine young lady. We should be taking advice from you!

5thsister said...

JMom...thank you.

I often tell Bethany that she's a shining example for others and to just stay true to herself. I also tell her that the boys "behaving badly" are doing so because they want her attention. Regarding the project I told her to simply hand it in, letting the teacher know that she did all of the work herself.

I would love to be able to continue homeschooling her but with the economic downturn (which places Mr. Sister's job in continuous peril) I need to be able to jump at the next full time opportunity that is offered at the hospital. It's hard for Bethany to understand. I mostly fear for my sweet, innocent and sensitive son. If he gets into middle school at this particular charter how will he fare? I pray daily for guidance in making the right decisions.

Anonymous said...


John did his senior project all by himself and earned a "A' for a few people, it is a great story that I use for my children, it is what is learned in the process that counts. I can be quite sure if we looked those people up they are not as secure in their lives or know how to.."Take the bull by the horns and get the job done right" Every experience, even the tough ones make you a better person if you stay true to yourself and learn the lesson. And it is way better than learning this now then when you are away at College and don't have that nice warm shoulder to cry on, just a roommate who will not turn off the loud music.


5thsister said...

Great advice from a great friend. Thank you, Elaine!

thamesarino said...

oh I'm sorry!
It can be so hard. I think that you have done everything that you can do... which of course is the hardest part. I agree with the general consensus that you have to make sure your project is what YOU want it to be.. Emily is very studious and takes her schooling very seriously, so we have also dealt with a similar situation. It is hard, but I've found that the teachers really don't want to hear about these problems.
As for boys... I had a situation with Emily last year that had ME in tears...and I honestly don't have any good advice. I'm afraid there is nothing we can do about hormones and high school.I try to tell Emily that the boys are just trying to get her attention as well.. but it doesn't seem to be much comfort.
I am sending you and Bethany all of my love and hope that things will settle down soon!
...and it is probably true that it is better she deals with this now with you at home than at college with so many other transitions going on. It will just make her an even stronger person.
It doesn't make it any easier though... for either of you... and I'm sorry!

Willoughby said...

I started to leave you a comment, but it was getting really long. I'll email or message you at FB instead.

Liz in Virginia said...

I have a daughter in high school (10th grade) and the whole scenario is a potential nightmare. It sounds like you have hit on the solution regarding "group" projects. Mean boys are trickier -- especially if there's a particular boy she wishes were nice! My girl is for the most part able to let this roll off her back now, but we did a lot of role-playing at home when she was in middle school (older brother filled with glee at "pretending" to be mean!)

To me, the immodest girls (who can be horribly mean, as well) are the worst part. If my girl doesn't yearn for "cool" clothes herself, I worry that she will be marked as different for not dressing the way everyone else does -- I feel it's a huge problem. We are Catholic, too -- but we even see some amazing clothes at church!

Very thought-provoking blog! Check mine out if you like!

Liz at twenty-firstcenturyhousewife.blogspot.com

Lissaloo said...

I'm so sorry. I am not there yet, the teenage thing, but I remember being one. I hope things work out OK, being a teenager is no easy thing.

Tracy said...

My husband is the asst principal of a high school and he said that if not for the "bratty little clique of girls" - his life would be so much easier.

My daughter was captain of the cheerleading team, president of the drama club, 3rd in her class, etc.... she also was inwardly shy, picked on by (jealous) girls and very insecure, she simply hated high school, said it was miserable most of the time, and I agree, I saw it. But she said that those experiences made her a better person and she wouldn't change it now, for that very reason. Don't know if that helps, just wanted you to know that she isn't alone out there!

Liz in Virginia said...

Hey -- You really ARE a Haiku queen!

Hope your daughter is experiencing peace in high school. You're doing hero's work!


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