Rants from the Crib

An Ob/Gyn gone mad

Trouble In School

My daughter is having Issues. Since she has started school, she has easily been a straight A student. She tested into the city’s magnet school, and until this year she has done super. Something happened this year. I don’t know if it was the switch to a new school for 3rd grade, or some issues with her dad, or her extreme social tendencies, or her proclivity for ridiculous drama, or all of the above.
There is a lot more homework this year, there is no doubt about that. But we check her work and go through it with her, and it clearly is not a problem with comprehension. Left to her own devices, she treats the work as nothing but that, an impediment to more fun activities, like goofing around with her friends.
Some of this may be her father’s doing. He grew up in a family that placed little or no value on education. He was the first person in his family to go to college. No one ever checked his work or encouraged him at all. No one in his family read. There were no books in the house. He read the encyclopedia because it was there and he was bored. He was bored in school because he was so bright, but no one bothered to work with him. He wishes constantly that someone had showed some interest in him,, because he would have gotten so much farther in life. So he is trying to give our daughter all the advantages that he never had, and I think he has pushed her too far. He made her do workbook pages all summer, and she was sick of them. Now I think her homework feels like an extension of that and it is just a hurdle to work through as fast as possible so she can get to the fun stuff. She is burned out.
Also she has an on again off again “boyfriend”, and this is causing a lot of problems. He is in her class, on her bus, and in her aftercare. He plays her against her little friend and alternates his “affections” between the two of them, which causes ridiculous drama, especially for 8 year olds. I think she thrives on the drama and does not wish or try to avoid it. This concerns me greatly – there was nothing like this going on when I was a kid and I don’t understand it. I don’t know where that drama gene came from – certainly neither her father nor I have it.
She brought home an ATROCIOUS paper last night – worst grade she ever got. It counted as a grade in two subjects and she got a 51!!  This was work to be done in class, and she tried to blame the little boy who sat next to her for “bothering and distracting” her. I told her this was completely unacceptable and in the future she was to tell the child to hush the heck up and leave her alone. Failing that, she was to request that her teacher move him or her to another table. She told me that hardly anyone in the class completed it but I think she is full of it.
Last night was such a treat. Yes, that is sarcasm. I made her finish the project she got the 51 on. There was so much wailing and gnashing of teeth it was really quite alarming. First she burst into tears and said her Daddy and I hate her, because she is a horrible person and makes horrible grades. This is not the first time this has come up, despite our efforts to reassure her to the contrary. Then she cried again and said everyone at school hates her because she’s annoying. Then she sobbed that she hates her life and everything in it. Does this sound like a healthy 8 year old?  I really don’t think so. A healthy (if unhappy) 14 year old, yes. So now I worry there is something wrong with her. And I am SICK of all the drama. I feel like we’re hit puberty already, and we should be years from that. I hate to make a big deal of it and take her to a shrink or something, but it just feels like something is wrong. Is she just a massive drama queen and I can’t relate to that?  Or is she already broken?  Lord, I feel I’ve been careful with her and raised her carefully. Does anyone out there have a drama queen (or king) and can relate?  Or do I need to seek professional help?

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