A has got a project to do over half term about Antarctica. T had to do a similar project in Year 7. He spent a few hours typing it up with a bit of guidance from me and then I helped him make it look more presentable. Job done. A insisted she knew what she needed to do. I gave her a bit of advice (work out your headings, collate the info into bullet points and then write it up….) and left her to it. This was yesterday morning. At 4pm today it was still not finished. She spent 2 hours on her cover. Two hours!! Either she is rubbish at searching the internet (seems to manage when it’s craft or baking or music related) or she is like her mother and she procrastinates. A lot. I used to spend hours making my revision timetable look amazing only to find I had no time left to revise. Oh dear, I have created a monster. Actually, I think it is probably more that she is a bit of a perfectionist (definitely doesn’t get that from either of her parents) and also wants to impress. T is still of the persuasion that less is more and if he’s asked to spend half an hour and write 2 paragraphs then that is what he will do. No point doing more if the teacher doesn’t want to have to mark it. I’d quite like them both to meet halfway and put in a bit more effort to show willing but not take 2 days on something that supposedly should take an hour and a half. By god, if she doesn’t get an amazing grade after this I dread to think of the heartbreak that will follow. On the other hand if that is the case then maybe next time she will rethink her strategy and do a bit less?
I never imagined my kids could be so different. I’m a firm believer in nurture over nature but, apart from things that I couldn’t stop myself from doing like dressing them in sex-appropriate clothing, I have treated them – nurtured if you will – the same. I always knew A was of a slightly different temperament (devil child to be precise and then alternately the most loving child you can imagine; whereas T is just chilled and caring and alternately annoying) from a very young age but had no idea that they would have such different approaches to school work and life in general. Apart from the universally pleasurable habit of “winding mum up” they don’t have much in common. They like music, but I don’t even know what you call the sort of music T likes (apart from s**t) whereas A is much more eclectic like me and listens to all sorts from Tom Odell to P!nk to Michael Buble with a bit of Little Mix thrown in because she is 11 years old and not 44. They like films, but of very different genres – Chitty Chitty Bang Bang or Mamma Mia! for A whereas T is stuff like American Sniper or DC Heroes films. A loves to read; T not so much (unless it’s a tech magazine).
I have to try and find a way to deal with my workaholic, but tearful when it gets too much, daughter. I have enrolled myself on a free workshop for parents of children “struggling” with the pressures of school work. I don’t know if they mean that the parents are struggling or the child or both, but I reckon even if it gives ME some coping strategies then it has to be worth it. The last 2 days have been quite stressful – A’s fiercely independent streak that I have nurtured has come back to bite me on the (rather large at the moment) arse and I am very, very glad that we are taking time out for a few days at the end of the week with no school work to think about. (Oh, apart from the Art homework that she has decided to do while we are away – so long as there is a tree in the garden of where we are staying…….)