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Homework: Perspectives of a Mother & her Son

by Ilana Angel

April 23, 2012 | 1:09 pm

If you read my blog on a regular basis, or happen to stumble upon it on one of the days I write about my son, you know that I love him in a profound way.  He is perfection to me and there is nothing I would not do for this kid. 

We don’t fight, but when there is a difference of opinion we tackle it head on and quickly.  I am a great mother.  I give him the support he needs to follow his dreams, but also stay close should he stumble and need me to catch him.

I am overprotective and certainly a worrier most of the time, but this kid has it made in terms of how I raise him and he knows it.  We are happy, enjoy each other’s company, and have respect for one another.

As wonderful as this boy is, I don’t get his approach to homework.  If you are given an assignment, do it when it is assigned.  It’s over and you move on.  My son is of the belief that you don’t hand onto it until the very last possible minute, or simply lose it.

His homework has been a bone of contention for a few weeks.  He has several missing homework assignments and it is annoying to me.  Not handing in your homework is ridiculous.  He has plenty of time to do it, yet does not on a regular basis.

He is in a competitive school and missing one piece of homework can take his grade from an A to a B.  It is silly to not do it, hand it in, and not have to worry about it. My kid is just not getting it because his homework is still missing weeks later.

First he told me it was handed in and the teacher lost it.  When that was not flying, he said he did it but forgot to hand it in.  When that was not going to cut it, he said he forgot to do it.  My facial expression was finally enough to get the truth.

He did not do the homework he was asked to do.  So now he has lied in addition to not doing it.  I am disappointed that he lied, disappointed that he did not do the homework, and disappointed that he does not seem to get that it matters.

I woke up to this email with the title “A Blog”, and one line that said “I love you Mom”. Please allow me to share this blog, written by my 16 year old perfect son, who believes with all his heart that I will be swayed by his charms.

I love high school.  I am having the time of my life.  I have an amazing group of friends, fantastic teachers, and very supportive parents.  I am really lucky to be able to attend the school that I do.  I get to pursue my dreams while also getting an amazing education.  However, the life of a high school student is extremely tough.

I looked at my online grades a few weeks ago with my Mom, and she noticed I had some missing assignments.  She told me I had to clear them and all would be fine.  The weeks have past, and the red empty missing boxes are still there.  Now my mother is upset and so am I.  I am disappointed in myself for a few reasons.  I want to do well when I am older.  That means I have to get good grades when I am younger.  Missing assignments is not doing that for me.  My mother gave me fair warning, yet I disobeyed and did not clear the assignments.  I understand why she is mad, and it is completely fine, but I don’t think she understands how difficult a teenager’s life can get though.

Yes, I know she went through high school.  I know she has already walked this path.  I get it.  However, life for her was different than life for me. I have electronics.  A phone, a computer, a television.  So many distractions.  My school is far from home so I have to wake up early in the morning and get home late in the day.  I’m am also very interested in a female at the moment and am trying to film a movie I have been working on.  I have a lot on my plate.

That being said, there is no excuse for me having missing assignments.  I just feel like sometimes I deserve a little bit of slack.  I love my Mom with all of my heart.  I need her to trust that I will get it done.  Hold strong Mom.  I can do it.  I promise.  I just need you to be patient and keep the faith.

Now, he is in fact charming, and I love that he took the time to write this.  He is a great writer and it is lovely that he was able to express himself in this way.  I also have to wonder, is he kidding me?  This is cute but not going to save his tuchas.

My darling son, I may not have had all the electronics and distractions you have when I was in high school, but I had other things to worry about.  Like what you wonder? Dinosaurs?  Walking miles to my schoolhouse uphill in the snow?

I will agree that my distractions were different, and my workload was much less, but at the end of the day, none of that matters.  You did not do the work.  You had the time and made the decision that you were going to blow it off.

That was bad enough, but then you followed up your error by lying about it, more than once.  It’s not cool and more than it making me mad, it hurts my feelings.  I don’t lie to you so I’m not clear on how you thought you could lie to me.

Homework matters.  Your grades matter.  I can support your dreams until I am blue in the face, but if you don’t put in the work it won’t happen.  I may be a nag, but you are the master of your own fate.  It’s very simple young man.  DO YOUR HOMEWORK!

I love my kid and I love his blog.  I will continue to nag him because that is my job and I am brilliant at my job.  All I can do is hope he eventually understands why this was so important and why I was on him about it so often.

I am blessed to have such a wonderful young man as my son.  I am also blessed that he can articulate his feelings so clearly and openly.  He has however, lost his mind if he thinks his blog is going to get sympathy and a free pass.

You didn’t do the work and you lied Babe.  No car for a week, you’re doing the dishes, soley responsible for your cat, and I will be giving you the disappointed head tilt at least once a day for the next week.  That’s how I roll Snickerdoodle.

It’s hard to be teenager in 2012.  Almost as hard as being the mother to a teenager in 2012.  All I can do is communicate the best I can, listen, cross my fingers, pray, hide the car keys in a place he can’t find them but I will remember, and keep the faith.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Ilana Angel writes two blogs for JewishJournal.com. KEEPING THE FAITH is about her worldview as a single Jewish mother, and KEEPING IT REAL is all about reality television....

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