We all want the best for our child, which goes without saying. But I was left at a loss of what to do when the school counselor called to speak to me about transferring my 13 yr. old daughter into an honors Math class.
My immediate thought was yes of course we want to move to an honors class. Why wouldn’t I want her to have the best, and then I spoke with my daughter.
“Argh! “, she grunted when I mentioned it to her, “I asked the counselor not to say anything to you”, she seemed very frustrated which was actually my feelings when I realized that a teacher had spoken to her, but she had failed to mention the conversation to me. Is this part of being a teenager – just hiding things?
“Mom, please”, she begged,” I don’t feel comfortable the class I am in now and I don’t want to go to honors, plus it will change my entire schedule and I am happy with my schedule.” She continued to plead.
“Ok let me just talk to her at least and find out the details. And if it’s not right, we won’t do it”
You see ever since my daughter was little, she had to be pushed into doing new things and then she was happy that we pushed her telling her she had no choice. But this time was different, if she didn’t feel comfortable in the class that she was in now, she wouldn’t do well in an advanced class, but my thoughts went right to if she stayed in the regular class she should get all A’s right?
Well I spoke with the counselor who said that a new class was just started yesterday and it was a high school credit. My daughter had qualified for it from her past scores from last year and it would be good to go into.
It would change her whole schedule and she was on track now for High School, this would just be a plus. I spoke with her dad who said, yes, she must go into this new class.
Now it was time to talk to my daughter again. Actually it turned out that she really did want to move to the new class but was afraid. What if she couldn’t do it, then she would begin High School next year with a bad mark against her already? I assured her that if I needed to get her a tutor than I would, but I was able to make it through college algebra two years ago so I was sure we could get her through High School Algebra.
She wrote down the Pros and cons but they were equal. That was not a help.
Then my neighbors High School daughter said she would tutor her that Algebra is her best subject and it looks good on college admissions applications. That put two more on the Pro list and put us over the edge.
But I could see how her attitude changed. She suddenly seemed stressed out so I couldn’t in good conscience make her change her class. After all it will not affect her negatively if she stays where she is.
“How bout we make a deal”, I said. “I will let you stay in the same class since you have been so dedicated to doing your homework but you must start attending the Teen Youth group at Church again.”
She thought for a second and then said “yes, you have a deal!”
That’s when I knew the honors class would be too stressful if she was willing to make deals with me. I made the decision right there and then to keep her in the same class and not disrupt her schedule.
So I went through the rest of my weekend, believing as a good mom I hadn’t pushed her and made her do something that would cause her stress.
Monday at lunch time I received a text from my daughter…
” Mom, I really want to go into the honors class. Can I?”
“yes, you have my permission. I made it through college algebra recently so we can get though through high school honors in 8th grade.