i have been quietly but officially branded as The Idiot Parent™ by BC.
i was trying to do six things at one time yesterday as i tried to help her with her math homework from afar. long story short, girlfriend (AKA einstein junior) suggested a way to solve a word problem, and i told her it was incorrect. fast forward to later in the evening, when she was finishing her work with BS. BS told her that her solution was actually correct, and i was wrong.
from here on in, BC only wants to do math homework with BS.
i should be happy about this: one less task (check.) truly, i do have the mathematical ability of a raccoon. my scholastic math experiences didn’t help matters. but over the years, i have built up my confidence, at least to the point that i think i’ve mastered things like long division. (do they teach that anymore?) but where i memorized my multiplication tables to multiplication rock as a child, BC is learning more about thinking about numbers in a way that i never did as a memorizing fiend.
i just don’t want to set a terrible example for her. while i find math about as interesting as watching grass grow, i know i have to put on a big show about how cool math is. (anyone have ideas as to how i do this convincingly, let me know.) and yes, i know math is important in the world; no preaching required. i just never found it interesting the way i found reading interesting.
and, in a related vein, girlfriend wept last night. she has to give a report on the sun. she worked on said poster and picked out five interesting facts about the sun all by herself. however, she is afraid the boys in her class will rip her apart. her sun facts apparently aren’t terribly impressive to anyone but herself. after giving her a mini-lecture about how she shouldn’t care what the boys think (boy, do i see this as something that will come up again and again in the future), and that she should only care about what she herself thinks about her work and what her teacher thinks about her work, i started to have a mini-reverie.
and i got pissed.
in this family, i make my kids do their own projects. (i passed third grade. i don’t need to pass it again.) i was surprised when i went to her parent/teacher conference last week and saw some of the other solar system posters, which clearly had serious adult contributions. what the hell? i want my kid to learn all by herself, and here she has to compete with projects completed by forty-plus-year-olds? i sure hope teachers see through this sort of thing, as it is unfair to compare her work, which clearly looks like the work of a third grader, with the work of a grownup.
what do parents think when they do their kids’ projects? do they think they are helping them? will they be walking into chemistry class later on in high school to help their child complete an experiment? joining them on job interviews? i don’t get it. and i hope my kid doesn’t get penalized down the road because she did her own work. why the hell do they need to start the competitiveness crap this early?
in short, grownups need to grow up.