Wednesday, August 1, 2012


Sorry it's been so long....again. I'm lying here awake for some unknown reason. I was asleep, only barely, but now it's 12:40 and I'm awake. I hate that. Hope I'm not getting sick, which is usually a reason for wakefulness for me.
Anyhow, I was reading my last posting since today the issue of report cards came up. DH and I were discussing the boys' reports because my MIL had called and wanted to know their marks. Immediately my spidey senses went up. (I was listening to his side of the conversation). I have had an issue with MIL in previous years, rewarding my children for their A's and accomplishments.She snuck it in without me knowing she was doing it.  And I don't like that. Not at all. 
Firstly, that's OUR job, not hers. I get that she wants to spoil her grand kids, so spoil them already, but don't make it about marks!
Secondly, I really have a problem with rewarding my children for marks. I think the marks should be rewards within themselves. They should feel a sense of pride when they see that A, or B, or whatever they're striving for. I want them to want it for themselves, not because they're being paid off.
Thirdly, it's unfair. R gets far better marks than L. Without even trying. Teachers love R, and let's face it, liking your kid can sometimes make a B a B+, or similar. L, I'm not sure. I don't think he's one of those kids teachers dread having, but he's just another kid. It's just his personality. He can't help it. So according to DH, MIL was going to give them $50 for passing (isn't that enough?!) and then $20 for each A.
Why wasn't I a party to this agreement? I went and looked at the reports, added it up, and that would leave R with $430! And his brother with $70. How would that be fair? L can't really achieve A's, although he did get one in Drama I think. After DH talked to MIL, she amended that to B's. Still, L got quite a few C's on his report, many of which I'm convinced should have been B's anyway. How is it fair that L got a crappy teacher, and who possibly gave him C's out of her dislike for him and his parents?
So I told DH to explain it to her. And to also say that L doesn't exactly go in for bribes that way. He hates school. No amount of paying him off is going to make him work harder either. Besides, the reward is far too long term for him. Plus, if he saw his brother get all that money, that would just make him quit. He definitely wouldn't try at that point.
So he did explain some of that, but ever-protective of his family's feelings that he is, he allowed her to still give them something, and some money towards their chosen activity/sport. At least that's what DH explained to me, but it all seemed somewhat confusing to me. He kept backtracking, so I'm wondering how much he's trying to put past me in the end. I don't think he is fully in agreement with me. He said his mother understood, but was hurt and disappointed.
Hurt? Why would she be hurt? Does she think we're saying this to her because we are out to get her? I don't get it. Then DH got all defensive of his mom, of course, and I held my tongue so as not to start an argument.
Same old story. He sides with his family and I can't even reason with him. Sigh.
Anyway, I'll be keeping a watchful eye on this situation. And now, time to try to sleep again.


  1. Whoa, that's a little insane. Its a lot of money for grades. I'm in agreement with you, I don't think rewarding for A's is necessarily the right thing. Not everyone can achieve that. One person's A is another person's C. That C could have had the same amount of work and effort put forth. To me, if my kids get a B or a C then that's fine, as long as they tried their best. If I were to reward (which I don't usually) for something it would be for improving a mark from one semester to another, no matter how minimal. Kids should feel pride for what they are able to accomplish, not shame for what they are not.

    1. I don't think she realized when she made the agreement just how many A's he gets! Or how many marks (20 altogether) there are on the reports! I'm thinking now I should have let well enough alone, held her to her word and taken the money to pay for school supplies and shoes for both of them. No way would I let R have that much money to squander on Lego!

  2. I think it's also an era thing. She's from the era when that was okay and some money may have made an awesome bribe when money was scarce. And some kids, like your L and (interestingy) my K, don't care for bribes. I think you're quite right that it would just make an annoying task that much more annoying for L to see how much his brother would've got based on your MIL's algorithm.

    My parents actually asked A how many A's she got. She just looked at them funny, LOL!

    That said, since your MIL sees things one way, her feelings could get hurt because in her eyes, she's just rewarding them. She doesn't get the whole concept of perspective from the kids point of view. Not only would it push L down, it could elevate R in his own mind.

    And no kid that age should have THAT amount of money handed to them!!!

    Good for you for sticking to your morals about it!