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Two weeks ago, we got in the mail Natalie's certificate for making the scholastic roll for the first semester.

Today we got her progress report.

She is in danger of failing all four major subjects this semester.

The shit is going to hit the fan here at about 3:30 p.m. It will not be a pretty sight. Have you ever grounded a teenage girl from using the phone or AIM? Do you have any idea what this house is going to be like in an hour?

Fear me, for my wrath has been invoked.


Michele -

Yes, yes I do know. I have a recently licensed 16 year old whose next report card I await. Yikes!


My Mom once ground me when I was in middle school or so, no television, no radio, no telephone, no going anywhere, no having anyone over for about two or three weeks. Highly effective!

Just unleash Mom & Dad on her. It worked for us (for the most part)!

DON'T CAVE MICHELE! Don't let the tears and wimpering break you down! "How you deal with this will pave the way for how she/he will behave at another time". (I heard that somewhere) Put the cell phone, so neatly wrapped and ready for Christmas away until the next report comes! Punish, punish punish......

OK, sorry about that. I have been breathing PJ's albuterol for too long today!

Hell hath no fury like a Michele's scorn.

Head for the hills, boys and girls.

Uh oh! Hang in there, you're doing the right thing.

oh my god. aren't you getting her a phone for xmas? and she won't be able to use it. forget crying and whimpering. no matter what she says, she doesn't really hate you and wish she were never born. be strong.

Do not be too harsh now, especially since it is right before christmas. Do the opposite of what she expects, which is be nice. Don't get mad, just say calmly she had better bring them up for the report card. This usually works better than yelling at them.

If your Italian temper is anything like my wife's that is gonna be one sorry kid.
(Unsolicited advice: Send daddy out of an errand or something)

yeah, yelling and grounding should really help. I mean, you wouldn't want to, say, discuss the situation, get to the bottom of the problem and solve it. I mean, it's just grade points that count, not actually her education and moral growth. keep her off the phone, that'll fix it!

some lovely motherly advice from andrea yates, there.

never assault someone else's parenting skills when you're too chickenshit to post your own name. fucksicle.

Yea, I think I'll just ground her and NOT TAKE CARE OF THE PROBLEM.


Thanks, 'me', for the [bleeding-]heart felt bit of advice.
You left out the part where you tell the kids that they are all perfect and unique snowflakes.
Care to try again? C'mon, Do It for the Children™!

And so it begins, Michele....the struggle is on. Just do what you feel is right. You're the Mom, you know Natalie better than anyone.
It's not easy, I know that (having raised three hellions into respectable, worthwhile, loving humans), just stay strong.

Wow. Your trolls are amazingly stupid, in a resilient teflon sort of way. The "face the consequences" facts of parenting seem to just slide off them, leaving a touchy-feely "how do you feel about that?" oil slick instead.

You guys should go over to Bloviating Inanities and give Bill some love. He's been asking for it. Leave Michele to do her parental duties in her own way, you anonymous dickweeds.

My Mom used to ground me and punish me when I got bad grades. It sucked ass and accomplished nothing. Then I'd get on the honor roll and it accomplished nothing except I got to watch more TV. Their incessant obsession with grades made me hate school so much I didn't go to college and now I make more than my Mom and Dad (both college graduates) combined. The whole thing is just useless silliness in my view.

Sounds like Jason D-'s parents had the right idea: they used reverse psychology to push him into a career path that has brought him more money than both of them put together. So how exactly can he say that their method "accomplished nothing"?

Well that is just one side effect of it. I make more money but didn't speak to either of them for a long time after I got out of High School. Got into trouble with drugs and the law. Took me until my late 20's to get readjusted and all because they were supreme assholes about grades. I'm not saying do one thing or another. Not my place. Just stating my experience. Read into it what you will.

Been there- straight A's as a Freshman - first progress report as a Sophomore - looking like she's going to be a Molly Maid when she grows up.

Go ahead be sympathetic, after she has nothing in her room but a desk and a chair. What would happen if school was a job and the equivalent happened there? You'd be out on your ass. Let her know you're serious and it won't be tolerated.

But also tell her exactly what she has to do to get her toys back.

Oh yes, I understand.

I have a 15 year old son who went from 4 A's & 2 B's last semester to 1 A, 2 B's & 3 F's at the mid-term of the current semester. Why? Because he didn't want to do the homework. His test grades are all A's & B's...

He's been on "double secret probation" since the mid-term. We'll see what the end result is, but I'm not holding my breath.

Jason, it's not so much about the grades as it is about her priorities, time management and attitude.

By the way...nothing says you can't still give her the cell phone...just don't turn it on until the grades are better!

1. Sometimes grounding works.
2. There are times when it's inappropriate.

There could be reasons behind the fall in grades. If it's something like depression or some other medical condition, grounding will only make it worse. It's an age where social interactions are of extreme importance. My senior year, I was taking 5 AP courses and doing fine. Then my mom wound up in the hosptial for another stroke and my girlfriend of a year and a half dumped me. For some reason, grounding and screaming didn't help a bit.

Hello, I'm a college prof. (Yes, really. It amazes me too.) And I'd like to thank you parents who actually care about kids' grades in the sense that you do ground them and then ensure they will study - yes, check that homework out - because they need to learn to study somewhere and it doesn't always sink into them in high school. And then it really is sad and pathetic to deal with college freshmen who don't know how to study, don't read their books, don't come to class, and then come to me, tearfully before finals and ask how they can keep from failing. Thankfully that did not happen this semester.

And in their teens a heart to heart snuggly chat doesn't always cut it. Grounding is just fine. I always tell them when they get to my class that if I was their boss I would have fired them. But that only wakes them up sometimes. Once I had a student that I hadn't seen the entire year show up and ask how she could keep from failing. sigh I mean, I'm not advocating tying the kids to their desks, but come on, study habits are crucial. Not to mention the importance of oh, say, showing up.

Sorry. Rant took me over there. Oops.

this raised quit a debate... I was grounded once but since we lived 20 miles from the nearest town it didn't really matter... I was too young to drive at the time. Where was I going to go? I sat in my room and read for a week, which is what I would have done anyway. I DID understand that my parents were very upset with me, though.

I think Michele is right. This is about accepting responsibility and setting priorities. We all make choices in our lives. We can study and get the best grades we are capable of getting or we can slack off and fail. There is the possiblity that we work hard and still fail. But if you've done your best, that's all anyone can ask.

Related rant--We can break the law and go to jail or we can be law abiding and enjoy freedom. We make that choice. Anyone who thinks that their parents' attitude toward their grades caused them to do drugs and break the law is lying to us and to themselves.

sorry... quite... that third word was supposed to be "quite"

"Anyone who thinks that their parents' attitude toward their grades caused them to do drugs and break the law is lying to us and to themselves."

You're assuming reasonable parents, or at least parents who are remotely familiar with the concept of "reasonable." It's a bad assumption.

Of course, I can't think of anyone I know who blames their parents for drug problems because of grade pressure. Suicide, I can. When the parents disown you for getting a B+ in biochemistry and "disgracing the family"....

Like I said, you're assuming "reasonable."

It reminds me of what my wife said she'd call the Simpsons if she had that family in therapy: