Okay, I have one child who seems a little, uh, SCATTERED lately. No spelling lists come home, so the child wings it on tests; the science project materials lean in a corner untouched even though the science fair looms. Looms!
A White Fang test tomorrow? Too bad White Fang is drooling or baying at the moon or doing whatever in the classroom at school but is not in our home for studying purposes.
Tom and I are handling this differently. He gets angry and all neck-bulgy when the kids says, "Don't worry, everything's going to be fine. I've got it covered." The kid, in turn, responds to the anger or attempt at control by clamming up and refusing to tell Tom what tests and projects are coming up.
I vacillate between sitting back and wanting the kid to have natural consequences (biting my tongue when the "F" on the Latin test comes back-- hey isn't this the same kid who got that nifty national Latin award last year?) and trying to help to the point of having to physically restrain myself from doing the kid's work for him. "Here, let's sit at the computer together! It'll be fun! You type one word, I'll type the next!" The kid responds to me by thinking it's okay to blow off work, because Mom will just find his supplies, give him a pep talk, and bail him out at the last minute anyway.
Oh, did I just say "him?" Fine, so it's obvious which kid I'm talking about. And in the time it took for the kid and his dad to discuss the finer points of remembering one's damn novel so one does not flunk out of 6th grade, his little sister had gone to the computer, googled "White Fang," and downloaded an audio version for our listening pleasure. Resourceful AND enabling! The seeds are planted so young these days!
While I am slightly reluctant to say this scatterbrained behavior could possibly be gender related, I will mention that I'm the only one in the house who is able to keep us in toilet paper or find the nail clippers.
BTW, I'm reading a book called Let's Talk Teens: 10 Questions to Connect Parents, Teens and God by Diane Overgard and Janice Rubin and it ROCKS! I fully expect to implement all of its great advice when I finish reading it, and after I drop off something my son forgot at school. Kidding. I think.