My inner Tiger mom tendencies just got the worst of me tonight. That, or I’m just one cranky pregnant lady.
My 6 year old son had to do a math addition assessment today for school. The test was 100 problems (simple addition like 1+5) in 5 minutes. The school doesn’t expect 1st graders to complete 100 problems in that time now, but by the end of the school year they should.
My son got 14 out of 100. He got them all right but I suspected he could have don a lot more. I’ve gotten feedback from the school before that they think he’s really bright but he takes his time on his work. I’ve seen it at home too. He gets distracted or more often goofs off or dawdles. His younger brother will finish meals way before him. And just this week he ate less than half of his school lunch because he ran out of time.
So yes, my son is a dawdler in every way.
My plan to have him work on completing his work in a more timely fashion. Tonight, I had him do more simple math addition but I timed him. I gave him 5 minutes and asked him to complete 30 problems.
Here’s what happened next:
Me: Ok, honey, get started.
My 6 year old: I don’t have a pencil.
Me: Go get one.
My 6 year old: [Goes to his art station to get a pencil] I don’t have any with erasers.
Me: Yes, you do.
My 6 year old: No, I don’t.
Me: Ok, if I find an eraser over there then I get to keep your allowance this week.
My 6 year old: I’m telling you there’s no erasers here.
Me: Ugh! [Walk over to the art station and find a pencil with an eraser] See, I found one.
My 6 year old: But that isn’t sharpened.
Me: It doesn’t matter. Just use the tip of the other one and use this eraser.
My 6 year old: But, I can’t [in his whiniest voice].
Me: I’m putting on the timer for 5 minutes. Get started.
My 6 year old: I can’t use this. Wahhhhhhhh!
This went on for several minutes in which I’ve threatened to take away his allowance (yes, I know the punishment doesn’t fit the crime), give him more work, and put him to bed early.
He cried and I started raising my voice. My husband had to excuse me because I wasn’t being productive.
I’m such a bad mom. My husband consoled my son and calmed hm down. He told my son to focus on his work and put the timer on again for 5 minutes.
My 6 year old completed about 15 problems in 5 minutes. He then asked to do it again. He completed 30 problems in 5 minutes, and then told us the next time he do 30 problems in 2 minutes.
I came back in to the kitchen with my tail between my legs and apologized profusely to my son. I told him I know he’s really smart and can do the work. I told him he needed to focus on his work when he needed to it, and could play and goof off after his homework time. He accepted my apology and we hugged.
Now I feel like the worst mother in the world. I wish I had more patience. I wish rather than getting mad, I could have found the strength to be nurturing and encouraging. I did tell my son that everyone makes mistakes, and mommy is no exception.
Boy, I’m glad these kids are so forgiving.
Have you had a bad mommy moment like me?