I find myself whispering as I lay in the darkness of my bedroom, "It's not about the grade...it's not about the grade." And it's not, really. In essence I should not be worried about my child's grade on a middle school semester exam. It's not my grade and I know--as an adult--that learning is more important than what grade shows up on a piece of paper 1/4 of the way through someone's life. No one is going to say to my child down the road, That middle school grade is what did you in. Had it not been for that, you'd have become a brain surgeon, or singer-songwriter, or a lawyer, or a veterinarian. Had you just done better on that math exam...
That's just not going to happen.
But what I fear is that the dismal grade on the math exam is a product of not studying, of being lazy--not the result of not understanding the material. I think she had the chance over the last two quarters to put the information into her head and she simply chose not to.
I know how these things go. There are stories to write and YouTube videos to watch. Wii to play and food to eat. And sleep. Hell yes, she'd rather sleep than study functions. I get it, because I, too, was once an almost 14-year-old girl. The difference? I had fewer distractions.
I can't blame the distractions though--I'm not that sort of person. At almost 14, she needs to be accountable for her actions, right? She needs to say to herself, I did not prepare for this exam and look where it left me. With a D on the paper and a bad feeling in the pit of my stomach. I think she needs to take this lesson and learn from it and understand that if one doesn't prepare, one might not pass. That's true in middle school, in high school, in college, and beyond. I mean, if one does not prepare their book and query letter and synopsis, one will not find a literary agent, right? (Okay, there's more to the whole process than that, but you know what I mean.)
How then, do I teach my child the lesson of hard work? She sees her parents working hard at home and at their respective jobs. I thought teaching by example would be easier than it is. But truthfully, I thought parenting would be easier than it is.
I guess nothing great in life is easy. At least one of us has learned a lesson.