Friday, September 17, 2010

RFA : How to Deal With a SmartyPants?

In the business world, RFP is well known as a Request For Proposal. My plea in the blogosphere for a RFA is a Request For Advice. This one goes out to the parents who have made it through the teenage years.

My eldest son, who is a bit of a smart mouth, is also a bit of a night owl. He will stay up late on a school night reading or finishing up homework. He often will stay up until after 11:00 p.m. Repeated warnings about being past his bedtime are met with a smirk. ( I'm not sure he has a set bedtime).

He has mornings down to a science. He gets up at the last moment possible, allowing 45 minutes to get up, dressed, eat breakfast and walk to school. After school there is cross-country practice every afternoon followed by swimming 3 of these nights. Which leaves little spare time for frivolities.

Last night when I took my youngest son to the library to get some books for a project, my eldest came along to pick up some books as well. After the boys checked out their respective stack of books, I noticed one of the books that I am not fond of. Naruto. (a anime comic book)

The issue:
After dinner, during what was supposed to be homework time, I discovered my middle-schoolers hunched over their Naruto books. They scattered like cockroaches when I asked if all their homework was done.

I expressed concern about said reading and mentioned a possible ban on these books. I also stated that homework needs to be done before reading comics. As I was scolding the boys, my 13 year old spoke out.

"That's really MY business" he proclaimed.

"Excuse me?!!!" I shot back, in disbelief at his insolence.

"If I don't finish my homework, I will suffer the consequences. It's MY responsibilty." was the retort.

I took a step back, speechless. In a way he is right. And he is an Honor Roll Student. So far.

The question for parents who have been through this:

How do you respond? What would you do?

1 comment:

Tara R. said...

That would be a tough one. When my son was having so much trouble in high school, teachers and his therapist suggested we do just that... like him deal with the consequences of his own actions (or inactions). But... dang... it is hard to just let them fail. Maybe you could let him police his homework himself for one grading period (let his teachers in on what you're doing), and see if he can do the work without your influence.

The added problem is how to handle the same situation with his brothers. Do you let them try the self-pace homework too? Maybe that could be the impetus for getting the older boy to do the work - being a good role model for his brothers.

Tough call...