My kid is failing Science…am I failing her?

It’s no secret that my daughter is a demanding, headstrong little girl. Sometimes, I truly wonder if this child will be the death of me before she’s grown.

No Fear!

My son is usually the most laid back kid any mother could ask for. He’s been that way since birth. No, really…he was even lazy about BEING BORN. Someday, I’m sure I will taunt him with the 8 solid weeks of bed rest for preterm labor followed by 24+ hours of exhausted, feverish labor thing…he just hasn’t given me a reason to.

My daughter? That child came screaming into the world after a scary fast, incredibly painful because there was no time for an epidural birth. And she’s practically been screaming at me ever since.

We go through phases of behavior with Diva.

  • Phase 1: She’s all sweet and loving, offering to do things for people for no reason at all. She does things around the house when asked, and her behavior at school is great. Her grades are spectacular, and the teacher brags on how sweet she is…while I quietly wonder if she’s talking about my kid.
  • Phase 2: We have to constantly repeat ourselves to get her to do anything at home. Then even if she does whatever we have asked her to do, she takes 5 billion hours to do it…and she does it wrong or halfway because she knows her perfectionist Mama is going to go behind her and fix it after getting fed up. My daughter is the QUEEN of doing just enough to get by. She comes home with “bad notes” in her daily school journal because she’s disrupting class with her incessant talking. Big C’s, D’s, and sometimes F’s are written in bold red on the schoolwork she brings home. This phase often takes place around extended school holidays, as well as scheduled visits with grandparents…because she thinks we won’t ground her during these times. She thinks wrong.
  • Phase 3: Parental breaking point. She acts so horribly bad 90% of the time, that it feels like she spends months on restriction. Her grades SUCK. When asked to help clean the kitchen after dinner, she whines and cries and makes an even bigger mess. Her room looks like a hurricane hit it, and then came back to hit it a second time. ALL. THE. TIME.

Currently, we seem to be in a new combination phase…it’s like phases 2 and 3 all mixed up together. The schoolwork she has been bringing home for the last month or so hasn’t been great, but I felt like I had been punched in the gut when her progress report came home last week, showing us that she was suddenly flunking Science. On her last report card, she had a high B in that class. Just after the Christmas break, her behavior at school was simply atrocious, and it took us two months to get her back to acting right at school.

School Project

Now, her school behavior is apparently great (according to the lack of bad notes from the teacher) but all of her grades have fallen and she’s failing a subject. For over a month, she refuses to bring home library books to read with us…instead, she goes to school, chooses tiny, half point books and skims them, then immediately takes an A.R. test…often resulting in grades of 20’s and 30’s, with an occasional 100 thrown in there. They finished CRCT testing last week, and the day they finished, we unearthed a ton of practice and study guides for 3rd grade testing that we had never seen…because she hid them in her room. She had pretty much bombed all the practice testing, and now I’m worried she bombed the real thing, too.

She told me the other day that she probably failed the CRCT because she’s “a dummy”. That broke my heart. I immediately told her she was NOT a dummy, and that she was an extremely smart girl. And she is…to hear her talk and the train of thought her mind often follows, she simply amazes me.

Amzing Girl

Something is just not adding up. I don’t understand how her behavior at school can be okay and yet she’s doing poorly academically? Maybe she’s saving up all of her badness at school just to unleash it on us at home?

I don’t expect her to be perfect. I don’t expect her to make straight A’s on every single report card. But I do expect her to make an effort, to at least try.

I thought my first child would be my practice kid…the one who would teach me the ins and outs of parenting. I figured by the time the second kid came along, I’d have everything down and I’d know just what to do in almost every situation.Stacey

But right now, I’m at a loss.

I don’t know where all this is coming from. I don’t know what to do about it.


{linked up this week with Shell @ Pour Your Heart Out.}


12 thoughts on “My kid is failing Science…am I failing her?

  1. Oh. I feel your “pain’. My oldest, who is now 24yrs, took us through a similar journey through school. I would sometimes cry when I counted the years it would be until the end of school! It is definitely heartbreaking to hear your child call themselves “dumb”. Hang in there!

    • Thanks 🙂 She’s a very dramatic kid, but it just kills me to hear her talk about herself that way! So far, the school years have been a breeze with my son…it’s been a non stop struggle with my daughter.

  2. I understand. I also have a headstrong daughter. She’s almost done with Kindergarten and already is like, “I don’t feel like writing.” So I’m nervous how it’ll be as she grows.

    • That’s kind of how my daughter is…if she doesn’t want to do something, she just doesn’t. Even her teacher has said the same thing!

  3. My sister, who is now 25, failed her reading PSSA (Pennsylvania state tests) in 8th grade because she thought it was stupid and didn’t feel like trying. She was a P*sser, as my grandma said, that entire year. Misbehaved, got in trouble constantly in and out of school, bad grades…the whole deal. 9th grade was better, but not by much. Eventually, she had a teacher who talked a little sense in her and now she is one of the lead Physician Assistants in the Cleveland Clinic Emergency Department!

    STAY THE COURSE. Stay strong, stay consistent. Her rocky road won’t last forever!

  4. Sounds like my also very head strong children. I once had a therapist tell me regarding my son – “People like him become extraordinary adults, if you survive raising them.” I can certainly empathize with you. I hope you survive as well.

    • Our pediatrician back home would always tell me, “Feisty kids like her grow up to be geniuses!” I can’t tell you how many times I have remembered that statement recently.

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