When it comes to school, I don't play.
I demand that my sons do well in school.
Mediocrity is not an option.
A few weeks ago, my oldest son, Deion came home with a "C". He's 10yrs old and is in the 5th grade. He's an A student. So, I was NOT happy to see a "C" on his progress report. I realized that he had gotten a C because he had 3 homework assignments that he did not turn in. The strange thing is that he DID the homework. He just didn't turn it in!!!
That left me scratching my head. How can you do it but not turn it in?
I happened to be out of town when my wife called me and told me about the grade. I was furious. I told her to put Deion on the phone. My wife tried to tell me to take it easy on him but I wasn't trying to hear her. When Deion got on the phone, I went off! I didn't curse (my sons have never heard me curse) but I let him have it. When he tried to explain, I told him that I didn't want to hear it and I didn't want to talk to him.
Should I have said that? Probably not.
My wife called me the next day and she said that after we got off the phone he cried as if he had gotten the worst spanking in the world. He was hollering! She said that he woke up the next morning and he was crying uncontrollably. She tried to cheer him up but he wouldn't snap out of it. He was hurt. I had no idea. After she told me what happened, I knew that I had to say something. I asked her to give him the phone. She tried but he didn't want to talk. What? He doesn't want to talk?
I told my wife to put the phone in his hand and to FORCE him to talk if she had to. After a few moments, he finally took the phone from her. I began the conversation by apologizing. Apparently, when I told him that I didn't want to talk to him...he thought that meant that his Dad didn't like him anymore...didn't love him like I love his 2 younger brothers.
I quickly reminded him that I DID love him. I reminded him that he was still my "main man". However, I was disappointed in what he had done. There was no excuse for not turning in his work. I reminded him of the many hours that he spends doing his homework and he should have turned the work in as soon as he walked in class. I reminded him that I needed him to be the leader for his brothers. You can't lead if you aren't doing the right things. He said he understood. I told him that I loved him and he said "I love you too, Daddy."
Lesson learned...sometimes words can hit harder than a fist. Always be mindful of what you say and how you say it.
Always remember that kids don't come with instructions. Parenting is a constant work in progress.
Even when you come down on a child, you should always end the conversation with a positive thought or a word of encouragement. It's usually the last thing that they hear...
Also check out a post that I wrote on Sista Sports...http://bit.ly/5PiM7L