Did ya hear the story about the mom who put a sign on her son that talked about his poor grades and asked cars to honk if they thought he needed an education?

Did you applaud her or decide she was a nut job who hadn’t been interested in her child’s schooling until high school?

I have decided to applaud Paula Holder.

This was after I read the comments on Huffington Post that put the woman down, who said she hadn’t been a good model herself and waited until high school to get on him about his grades. I wondered if these commentors had children, had children not doing the work, not working towards their full potential.

It can drive a parent crazy. It drives me crazy. My two oldest boys are smart kids. They enjoy reading, love playing video games and have figured out how to do amazing tricks on the computer.

Their grades are the pits. My oldest seemed determined to not pass anything so I made the tough choice to have him attend public school instead of the private school he had been attending. My second child ‘forgets’ to turn in homework, doesn’t do the homework, tells us he has none when he is to be reading for his reading log.

I have taken things away, took away computer time, grounded them to the house, yelled, screamed, thought about beating them. I read all of the time in front of my kids. I read to them when they were little. I encouraged them to read, looking for any series that would spark the interest.  

I have been a writer for the last 10 years and the kids have seen how I live by deadlines. So do my husband. We ask about homework, we talk to teachers and ask for advice. And yet when we get report cards I want to tear my hair out.

(Side note, my oldest did graduate from high school after spending his junior year making up every class he flunked the past two years. This meant no electives including art and band. That is a shame because he is an excellent artist.)

Ms. Holder is right. I am not the only one who thinks so. I read Black and Married with Children agree with Ms. Holder and share her story. Sometimes, you have to work towards embarrassment to get the response you want. Sometimes there has to be a big lesson to show that there are consequences to actions and non-actions.

Some people are saying this is cruel, inhuman, abusive. But so is not being able to hold a job because you do not like the rules. So is poverty because you can’t get a better job or budget what you have, or living a street life because selling drugs is easier than getting a ‘real’ job.

Being a wastrel or a ne’er-do-well should not ever be a life goal. Not having an education because you do not want to do the school work is the first step in that direction.

If you are a parent with a child who will not do the work and says school is a big waste of time, what have you done to try and save your child from what seems like certain doom?

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