Friday, January 19, 2007

Parenting Experience

I just about had a breakdown the other day - OK, I did have a breakdown the other day. All vacation I asked Mira "Do you have any homework. Do you have math homework?" I cannot tell you how many times I asked her this question. Her answer was always evasive: "I don't think so. I don't have homework. I have Egyptian social studies." OK, so I trusted her without looking in her books. WRONG!!!

When I returned to school her teacher told me that Mira was in serious trouble with math because: 1) she hasn't been doing her homework and 2) she doesn't understand subtraction and borrowing from 3 and 4-digit numbers. I freaked out.

It was decided that if she didn't catch up with her homework and understand subtraction she would not go the US with me. She would stay with Aunt Olfat and I would go alone.

So Mira stayed after school several days with her teacher to have the math explained to her. She was miserable. She cried and threw a fit. You would think she was 3 years old all over again. As I always did, I ignored her. When Mira throws a fit, I ignore her. When she was 2 and threw a fit and was on the floor, I'd step over her saying "Let me know when you're finished." I have always dealt with fits very well, however, she couldn't really talk back. Now it's quite different. She came into the car and said "I'm not going to school tomorrow. I refuse to go to school tomorrow. Ms. Nora is not the boss of me." Well, at that point I let her have it.

We spent 6-7 hours on math homework the other night. We have been working on it quite diligently to make sure she understands the subtraction. Because I actually sat down with her and wrote out every problem, and she actually solved every problem, she understood it. She just didn't want to do it alone. I think she looks at the pages of homework and finds it quite overwhelming. I told her if she did her homework every night like she was supposed to she would not have the overwhelming feeling that she has now.

So I spoke with Mira's teacher yesterday and told her what we did. By the end of the day I asked her teacher how Mira did with math. Mira's teacher said she was actually impressed that Mira understood the math. She said I was the only parent that sits with my child to do their homework. I told her it's my responsibility as a parent to make sure my child understands her schoolwork, not just because I work at the school.

I don't know where she gets this behavior from. I was the perfect student - yeah, right. Now I see it from the other side. Ah, parenting. . . it keeps changing. If I have the cahunas to deal with this effectively, the next stage won't be as challening; or will it . . .




Cairogal said...

Teachers will tell you what a difference it makes when a parent is involved in the learning process. To many parents think "that's why I pay the school."

Layla said...

Marian - When Mira's teacher said that she didn't do her homework, how long has she not been doing it? Do you think any of it had to do with Hassan not being around? Do you think that because when you sat down with her and did it together, do you think it was a sign of attention?

I used to do that with my mom a lot. I would say that I didn't know how to do something so she would sit down and help me with it. LOL yes, I was naughty. But I had a younger brother who got most of the attention and a father who was absent most of the time.

Does Mira have an assignment notebook to write down all of the things she needs to do for homework? Maybe it would be a good idea to get her one and when she is done with her homework, check it with the notebook and maybe put a little sticker in it if she got all of her homework done.

love and hugs to you!!

Marian said...

Cairogal - Yes, in Egypt, it is true. If I pay the school then they do the work for me so I don't have to. How right you are with attitudes. Love and prayers.

Layla - Mira hadn't done her homework for at least two weeks. I think it was longer. I think it has to do with Hassan not being around and you're right, it was probably a sign for attention. If I sat with her she understood it - I didn't solve her problems, just sat with her and talked the problems out. She has a channel book, but never wanted to pull it out to show me. It is my fault for not being more firm with her and then waiting for it all to crumble. But I thought she was telling me the truth. Ah, the fool I was, but am no longer. She's bright, but lazy sometimes especially with homework. Can't blame her. If I saw 29 pages of math that was incomplete, I'd procrastinate too. But now it's all finished, Alhamdulillah and her teacher wrote in her book "Congratulations, you're going to America." Ah the advantage of having a teacher who is 1/2 and 1/2 (Egyptian and American). Love and prayers.

Karen said...

Marian, just to let you know, the weather here is extremely cold. We are expected to be in the 20's and teens for the next week or so, make sure Hassan has something warm for you all when you get off the plane... call me when you get here, email me your phone's too, I do not have them.. karen

Marian said...

Karen - We arrived. I will email you my phone numbers. Love, Marian