Entries from April 1, 2010 - May 1, 2010
I have yet again taken Ichabod’s game system away. He always acts like this action on my part happens in a vacuum, that I wake up and say to myself, “Yes this is a good day to wreak trauma in my son’s life, so I will stroll down to the basement and randomly take away his game system. I will enjoy the yelling and fighting that ensue. I would enjoy this before I even have my coffee. Yes, this is how I choose to start my day.”
I do wake up, go downstairs heading for the coffee. I look out the window and see his car and realize he has not gone to school again. Then I take his game system. There is a cause and effect relationship that Ichabod fails to acknowledge. He can earn the system back by going to school on time for 5 consecutive days. Miss a day or be late, and the “get the system back” clock restarts.
Ichabod’s not going to school has been an ongoing problem - a problem for his father, I, and now the Vice Principal, but not for Ichabod. Prior to this year, we have never even spoken to a Vice Principal. I think we are on his speed dial.
Ichabod’s thinking is: it is his life and if he wants to mess up, that is his choice.
Uh..no...it is not his life until he is willing and able to be responsible for all his choices and live with the consequences. I cannot make him go to school, but I can make the outcome of not going to school so miserable that going has an immediate benefit. The school seems unable to impose any consequences that matter to Ichabod. He likes Saturday school. In his mind he can opt for which day he misses school or opt to sleep in on Saturday. He has a date for the prom. He cares about going to the prom. When I suggested that going to the prom be tied to attendance I was told “We have not done that in the past.” If he has the money, the school will allow him to buy tickets even if he keeps skipping school as long as he attends Saturday school. No consequences of consequence for missing from the school side. Meanwhile, we are getting letters implying we, his parents, can be charged with truancy for his not going to school, even though the kid is 18 and we can’t legally drag him to school.
So we have a predictable rhythm going. He skips school, I take the game system, yelling and childish behavior ensue (from both parties), he goes to school the next 5 days, he goes to Saturday school, he gets the game system back and skips school sometime during the next week, repeat.....
We will make it to graduation, by the graying of my hair we will make it.