This article, entitled "Finals," comes from Pam Tauscher, MomsEveryday blogger from Madison, WI.
I have to say I think I am more excited than my kids that summer break is just days away. This spring was long. It wasn’t just the winter weather lingering into the months of April and then into May. It’s more.
This is my first year to experience the joys of final exams with my freshman son. Never have I realized more clearly that a teenage brain is capable of the impossible. And when I say that, I don’t mean it in a good way, although their brain is amazing in a lot of good ways, this isn’t one of them. This capacity I am encountering is the ability to make whatever is unpleasant just disappear magically, no strings attached. Just poof, like that, they truly can convince themselves that if they don’t want it to be so it won’t be so. For example, if one would rather not study for a lengthy and comprehensive geometry test, one would just not do so and skip happily into sophomore year without a care in the world, never looking back.
This is where, if this were a video, we would insert the screeching tires. And behind the wheel of the tire-screeching car would be me, sliding in sideways with a big dose of reality.
The first few times this happened I tried to just allow my son to learn a lesson on his own. I knew there wasn’t enough preparation being done in spite of my warnings, but I allowed him to see for himself that the lack of effort would inevitably earn him a low grade. But then I started to see that the failing was going to add up to too much failing, and no body gains much from that kind of lesson.
So, now I spend a little time each day reminding him that finals are just this many days away and that they are going to happen whether he wants them to or not, and that he is going to need to study for them even if it’s not fun or is boring or whatever complaint I’m hearing that particular day.
As a thank you I receive many grunting sounds, groans, rolled eyes and glaring stares, but I know from experience that when he says, “I know, Mom!” sarcastically, what he’s really saying is, “I didn’t know.” And that wishing it wasn’t true just isn’t enough to actually make it not true.
As a middle schooler no one can prepare you for what high school final exams are really like. No one can help you know how to study this way, you just have to experience it, live through it, suffer along with everyone else until you are a hardened, road weary experienced high schooler next year.
But until then, I will be slaying mythical dragons, ruining the dreams of nirvana in my son’s mind and dashing high hopes that instead of studying for biology tonight we will be watching 3 hours of TV.