Sometimes you have to parent your children differently because they have different personalities.
Here’s a for instance. One of my children texted me from school yesterday that he only needs an average of 19 in government, 33 in biology, and 33 in English this last 6 weeks to graduate. At this very moment, my other child is busy preparing for the STAAR test she’ll take later this week. She’s planning healthy breakfast menus to maximize brain function, setting multiple alarms so as not to oversleep, sharpening pencils, and choosing books to take so she’ll have something to do when she finishes.
It’s parenting whiplash.
If you don’t live in Texas, and are wondering what the STAAR is, it’s the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, and the latest public school microcosm to highlight the anxiety of some students and apathy of others. Now that I think about it, school in general provides lots of opportunities for parents to be confused by the differences in personalities between their children.
I should point out here that both of my kids are completely awesomtastic. They’re smart and witty and fun. That said, I understand that they have different temperaments and needs (see above for instance). What that means is that sometimes I say something to one and then something quite the opposite to the other.
Since it’s List Wednesday, I’ll go ahead and show you what I mean.
No TV Week:
to child A: I don’t care if your teacher said it’s “No TV Week.” We didn’t sign up for that. I promise it will be okay. Some rules are made to be broken, like the kind that try to keep me from watching Survivor. Besides, there’s a Spongebob marathon coming on in 13 minutes. Popcorn?
to child B: You watch too much TV. Turn it off and read a book or something.
to child B: Your fundraising packet is due tomorrow. Here it is, wadded up in the bottom of your backpack. What’s this brown stuff all over it? Never mind. Put me down for one scented candle. Yes, I’ll buy you a giant sticky hand…since you worked so hard and everything.
to child A: You have a 99 average in that class. Why are you studying? Let’s go shopping.
to child B: Do you have any homework? Because yesterday you said you didn’t have any homework, and I noticed on PowerSchool that you had a test today. Yes, that grade is impressive, considering you didn’t study one minute for it. But yes, tests do too count as homework. Turn off the PS3 right now and go study something.
to child A: You have a fever. You have to stay home from school. Also, I was thinking we could spend the day together next month on your birthday…lunch and shopping. Well, yeah, it’s a school day, but it’s okay to miss every once in a while. No? Yes, I suppose you’re right. You might have a pop quiz that day.
to child B: You’re not throwing up. Get out of bed. You’re going to school.
to child A: It’s 18 degrees and there’s ice all over the road. I don’t know why they didn’t cancel school today. If I drive any faster, we’ll end up in the ditch. Relax. Yes, they will understand if you’re a little late.
to child B: Are you kidding me? Get out of bed. You already have 6 tardies in first period, and it’s only the 5th week of school.
to child A: There is no reason to be stressed about this test. You’re going to do great, like always. And even if it’s incredibly hard and you somehow don’t, it doesn’t matter to me.
to child B: You better get serious about this test right now, because if you mess it up you will not graduate, no girl will ever want to date you, and you will live a miserable, pitiful existence for the rest of your life.
I might have embellished a few of those, but you get the idea. How are your kids different?