Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Mom, The Vampire

I’m putting out my bat signal. A parenting 9-1-1 call. I need your help! The long-awaited movie “Twilight” premieres this Friday. It’s the teen world’s answer to “Harry Potter." It’s based on a series of books about a teenaged girl who falls in love with a vampire. I'd never even heard of this book (although it’s been out for about two years and has a cult following) until three weeks ago when my daughter begged me to buy it for her. She was in a rush to read it so she could attend the premiere this Friday with a bunch of friends who had already been there, read that!

So I bought it, and like a famished reader, she devoured all 498 pages in two days! I was impressed. She swore up and down that her homework was getting done, too, and tests were being studied for. I believed her, and to be honest, I was just happy to see her face in a book. What parent doesn’t want her child reading, right? She ate breakfast and dinner every day, a fork in one hand, the book in another. She didn’t really speak to her sister and me for two days. She was obsessed with this book!

You get the picture.

But going to the premiere came with a caveat: She needed to get good grades for the next two weeks. That is, nothing lower than a “C.” (Hey, I’m easy.) Everything was running smoothly until . . . (sound of screeching tires) . . . this morning, when I discovered that she got a “D” on a geometry test she took last week, right around the time she was reading that damn book.

So here’s my dilemma . . . do I let her go to the premiere of this movie or not? Technically, she did not hold up her end of the deal. If I let her go, I will come off as a wimp-of-a-parent and she will get the message that she can get any grades she wants, with no consequences.

If I don’t let her go, well, she will miss out on a thrilling event that almost every teenager in town will be attending. And I will feel badly, really, because I saw how passionate she was about reading this book. I just wish she had put the same kind of passion into her studies.

Now I feel like a vampire because sometimes, parenting sucks! What would you do?

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Sherra said...

You're right. This is one of those "parenting sucks" moments. And a moment where you get to teach a pretty tough lesson. I've been there every dang semester with one of my twins who tangles with me over grades (and freedom and the list goes on and on).

I'm one of those "Say what you mean and mean what you say" mothers. She got a "D" and that's not acceptable. So re-set the same deal, two weeks with good grades and she can see the movie. The movie will still be there and she will not be permanently scarred from not seeing it on opening weekend. The clock is ticking on the school calendar and the holidays bring even more distractions to their studies.

If you want, you can have her be mad at this bonafide "Mean Mom" instead of you but I'd stick to my guns because she needs to know you meant what you said!

Lynn said...

Boy, did you respond at the right time, Sherra! That girl is trying to wear me down, let me tell ya! I have dug my heels in about not going to the premiere, so she knows I'm not budging on that. But now she is asking if she can see the movie on Saturday, or maybe even Sunday. Or, "Can I still go out with my friends on Friday, Mom?"

In some ways, it doesn't seem fair that I may not allow her to go out with friends at all this weekend because the deal was that she would miss the premiere if she got low grades, not that she would be restricted from seeing friends.

So I may allow her to hang out with her friends on Sunday. But I do like your idea about "re-setting" the deal and giving her 2 weeks to bring her grades up before she can see "Twilight."

It sure helps to have a bargaining chip, doesn't it? Where would we be as parents without the power of our bribes?