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 Post subject: Re: Hey, let's chat about our teens/tweens!
PostPosted: Sat Aug 17, 2013 11:40 am 
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Ah, I hope she's feeling better and gets to go! What a bad time for an illness!

Our update: His summer reading project is DONE! And it's really good! School starts Tuesday, so he even has a few days left without it hanging over our heads.

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 Post subject: Re: Hey, let's chat about our teens/tweens!
PostPosted: Sat Aug 17, 2013 7:08 pm 
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I hope she was able to make it!

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 Post subject: Re: Hey, let's chat about our teens/tweens!
PostPosted: Sun Aug 18, 2013 11:20 am 
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update, she made it. nervous stomach. it was not what she thought it would be (catty girls. who may have been a bit intimidated. the whole situation was like a "people of walmart" type thing and it was really bizarre. she may give it another try, but i wouldn't fault her for not. hell, even the mothers were rude to each other.). I feel so bad for her, she was looking forward to it so much.
even worse was that we came home to the most stressful drama we've seen since we've been here and it doesn't look like it's going to resolve. The poor kid is so lonely and so bored and I feel like we're living in Jim Jarmusch movie most of the time, except for when it seems like One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.
The problems worsened because we left the house, apparently we're not supposed to leave the house. Ugh. School cannot start soon enough for me (so she can be around other people, leave the bloody house, and have someone else to talk to, because when I'm working she really has nobody to even talk to. my mother is not "allowed" to spend time with her [or my sibling makes her pay later] and the sibling, well, she only talks to my mother oracle-style, we are not worthy of talking). I just want to give her a chance at school but this situation turned out to be so much worse than I thought it would be. We are just trying to stick it out til school starts and then see what happens. I hope school will at least be useful for her, somehow.
sorry to turn this into the vent thread. i hate to give up on this year-in-the-US idea before school even begins but I tell you, every day I think about going home.

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 Post subject: Re: Hey, let's chat about our teens/tweens!
PostPosted: Sun Aug 18, 2013 4:52 pm 
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oh, and an update. i am doing a horrible translation job (optics! not my cup of tea!) so FC is on her own this afternoon.
She just came downstairs and announced she had finished the summer math (56 problems) and reading (book report). Twould appear she did both today. I have my doubts about quality (i know, how dare i, right?) but when she wants to work, this kid is a monster.

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 Post subject: Re: Hey, let's chat about our teens/tweens!
PostPosted: Sun Aug 18, 2013 4:57 pm 
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I am so sorry things are rough torque! Sending you tons of good thoughts!

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 Post subject: Re: Hey, let's chat about our teens/tweens!
PostPosted: Sun Aug 18, 2013 6:19 pm 
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School starts tomorrow! We will see if we can survive the anxiety about what might happen and what could be.

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 Post subject: Re: Hey, let's chat about our teens/tweens!
PostPosted: Sun Aug 18, 2013 7:25 pm 
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Sorry it didn't turn out to be what FC was hoping for, torque. It really sucks that you guys are having such a rough time here but has to comforting to see how well FC is navigating it all. Really hope school makes it easier on you both!

Vantine- My kids start Tuesday, Shae is anxious but Silas is literally counting the hours until he can go to school. I forgot how adorable excitement for school was. I remember Shae cried every Saturday in Kindergarten because he was sad he couldn't go to school. I hope it all goes smoothly for Toby and anxiety is at a minimum for you both!

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 Post subject: Re: Hey, let's chat about our teens/tweens!
PostPosted: Sun Aug 18, 2013 8:02 pm 
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How come we don't go back as early as you?? i am so jealous!!
good luck for the kids in FLA!!

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 Post subject: Re: Hey, let's chat about our teens/tweens!
PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2013 4:38 pm 
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Gah! I wish my kids went back already. I don't think we go back until the second week in Sept.

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 Post subject: Re: Hey, let's chat about our teens/tweens!
PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2013 5:14 pm 
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I'd trade you guys if I could! I want mine home longer!

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 Post subject: Re: Hey, let's chat about our teens/tweens!
PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2013 8:25 pm 
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Usually I don't mind mine home. But this summer I am trying to work from home and they are not good at sticking to my schedule.

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 Post subject: Re: Hey, let's chat about our teens/tweens!
PostPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2013 11:07 pm 
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I wish mine was about to go back. We're all kind of going crazy. But I think middle school's going to hit him hard.

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 Post subject: Re: Hey, let's chat about our teens/tweens!
PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 4:46 am 
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Shae's first day was great! He says he "loves high school". I don't know what to make of this.

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 Post subject: Re: Hey, let's chat about our teens/tweens!
PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 8:00 am 
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So good to hear, Kelly! I hope your luck rubs off on us. FC is all kinds of nervous but we finally get to meet with guidance next week (the week before school starts, eyeroll) and she gets her official tour [i sort of snuck her in and showed her around the part of the school i knew, but the middle schoolers are in a separate wing, it's a regional middle/high school and the big kids are separate from the littler ones, so she hasn't seen where she will be].
She is so nervous about lockers. And gym clothes. If it weren't terrifying it would be cute.

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 Post subject: Re: Hey, let's chat about our teens/tweens!
PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2013 7:50 am 
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So, I think this is the best place to update, our family situation has had a lull for a bit and things are better (I slept through the night for two nights in a row, which is sayin somethin). We are trying a new tack and it's working so far.
Back on topic, the kid got her schedule and school packet yesterday and OMFG shiitake just got real!! She is cycling between excited and terrified. School bus stop thing sorted, schedule confirmed, place on the "team" (they divide the kids into teams for guidance purposes)... Best of all, no gym at the beginning, just health, so no massive panic about gym clothes/locker room/ etc. It's bad enough with her not using a uniform (she always complained about the uniform, but she's very nervous about not having one here), but the gym clothes thing was about to send her over the edge. So, close call avoided.
Now we just have to gather all the supplies we don't have, figure out school lunch and how she will deal with that, and we'll be golden.

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 Post subject: Re: Hey, let's chat about our teens/tweens!
PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2013 3:34 pm 
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Phew! Glad things are looking up a bit!

The gym clothes thing... is it the actual changing that she's worried about or just not being sure what she's supposed to wear?

Ugh, School lunch. I was worried about this extra for high school because in addition to regular school lunch, they have various fast food vendors, chickfila and pizza and something else? But Shae's (so far) happy with his bag lunch. When soccer season gets in full gear it's going to be a real pain in the asparagus though. I've heard that they go to Wendy's on the way to soccer games and Whataburger on the way home. what the fizzle. I can't even grasp the disconnection between eating trashy food and athletics.

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 Post subject: Re: Hey, let's chat about our teens/tweens!
PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2013 3:59 pm 
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re the gym, not really sure. maybe both. it's all so different from what she's used to, who knows. also, just got her second period and she doesn't quite feel like she has it under control, i think. I know at that age I was pretty much terrorized by my period; she's got more support so I hope she doesn't feel like that but I know it takes a while to not feel a bit more comfortable with the situation.
Fast food vendors??? ugh. didn't even think about it. need to get on their site and see what the actual menus are and if she has options that are realistic.

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 Post subject: Re: Hey, let's chat about our teens/tweens!
PostPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2013 11:59 pm 
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The 16 year old is gonna get a smack down (figuratively).
She left an empty pan on a hot stove while she went out back to get fresh berries for pancakes. And then didn't fully understand why I outlawed candles in her room.
I don't really need my house burned down.

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 Post subject: Re: Hey, let's chat about our teens/tweens!
PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 6:08 am 
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We've entered some sort of freakish realm of responsibility. I am confused. He's studying for tests! Turning all of his work in on time! Actually doing his homework before his soccer games!

The best part is that he's so proud of himself. He's just really in his zone and it's making me really happy to see! (He also was told that he might be put on the Varsity Soccer team and this is a BFD for a freshman, so he's just proud all around.)

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 Post subject: Re: Hey, let's chat about our teens/tweens!
PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 6:23 am 
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still almost no homework. what the hell, school. as before, cosplay is taking over the kid's life.

glad that he's doing great, Kelly.

any suggestions about how i can deal with this? she has school homework (almost nonexistent) and then to get back into Brazilian school she needs to do BR math and Portuguese (both self study). she has neglected Portuguese all summer, and hasn't done math since she started school (her excuse is she does math in school, but the whole semester is stuff she did in 5th grade). Every day there is some other excuse about why she can't do it. I am working like a dog (or else sick as a dog) and can't keep on top of her. I took away her computer, and her books, but she found another computer, and my sister enables her. Frankly I don't know what the hell she's doing. Do I also take away her drawing supplies? Wigs? As before, I am parenting alone here (the family here is worse than useless in this department). So I'm basically in the same predicament I was in before I left.
How do you make sure the kid is doing her homework without actually sitting on top of her and watching her do it (and listening to her cry the whole time)? Every time we even talk about it she starts throwing things and screaming at me (that 3 months of calm good behavior is finally over), and then I get lectured by my mother, who won't talk directly to her but instead complains to me about her behavior (she obviously doesn't remember how bad we were as kids).... I have a big reward to dangle in front of her (NYC trip in two weeks) but she knows that she will go no matter what, because it's a treat for both of us.

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 Post subject: Re: Hey, let's chat about our teens/tweens!
PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 6:34 am 
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So as always I come at this from the naive perspective of a non parent...
I know for me (and it was even more true as a teen), the less is expected of me, the less I will feel like doing it. Since she is a few years ahead in the maths curriculum, is there a way she can be transferred to another grade's class, or an AP class or something? I would personally feel more enclined to put in some effort in a setting with higher expectations and higher pressure (and also you wouldn't be the one putting pressure on her, it would be the teacher/professor and classmates), whereas having to do work that is much too easy is super demotivating.


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 Post subject: Re: Hey, let's chat about our teens/tweens!
PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 6:41 am 
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your perspective is always super helpful and very welcome!!!!

we tried asking, but the school is firm- one class for all 300 or whatever 8th graders. (she is doing the super-easy school math work; she is not doing the advanced Brazilian math work that is her self-study. maybe i wasn't clear.).

problem is: Brazil is 3 years ahead in math. if she doesn't do this material, when we go back she will have to repeat 8th grade AGAIN and be a year behind her friends.
i've told her this a million times, she gets really upset about this idea, but yet still doesn't do the homework.

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 Post subject: Re: Hey, let's chat about our teens/tweens!
PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 10:14 am 
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How old is she?

When we were having troubles with Doug the rule was homework in the evening in the livingroom. That way, I could work and still watch him and make sure that got done. But at a certain point, there really is not much you can do. Doug could do homework all day, but the time in school was the problem for us.

Is there a reward system you could implement? Not a punishment system, as it sounds like the punishment will come if she doesn't do the work. But working toward something more tangible in the short time may really benefit her.

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 Post subject: Re: Hey, let's chat about our teens/tweens!
PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 10:50 am 
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she's 13.
we have already established, HW at kitchen table. except that german, portuguese, and something else i forget is computer based. in theory she has to use my computer to do it, but in practice i've been working or sick. i will crack down on that, i think.

reward, i need to work on. she's just taking the things that are supposed to be reward for granted (seeing friends, phone time, library trips, etc. things that i feel so horrible about taking away since they're so small and basic). but you gave me a good idea, we are supposed to go to the library tomorrow and it won't happen if her HW doesn't.

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 Post subject: Re: Hey, let's chat about our teens/tweens!
PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 2:11 pm 
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One class for all 8th graders? That doesn't sound like a great school...Is there a way to get her bussed over to the local high school for higher level classes? That had been pretty common for a lot of the more rural kids I went to high school with.


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