Appreciating the skills of parenting.

So an incredible thing happened on Monday.  Not amazingly significant but to me incredible.  I was babysitting and was at the end of my tether with what to do with Fred the older boy.  He simply refused to do his homework and I feel like I’m in a horrible position because I’m not his parents.  I kind of agree that he needs time to relax and stuff before he does any homework, but his dad wants him to start 15 minutes after he gets home.  I don’t know what to do cos I don’t want his dad to come home and be mad at me for not making the kid do his homework but personally I don’t think I should be forcing him when he’s obviously really tired.  So we had a big argument where I asked him to just show me his homework diary so I knew what homework he needed to do later, and he point blank refused.  So I just gave up and let him be grumpy.


When his dad came home I was a bit nervous but I explained he didn’t want to do his homework and that he seemed a bit.. and I didn’t finish the sentence.. and he said ‘..tired?’, with a sort of sad look on his face.  I realised later that I think there’s a lot of guilt with the parents on how their divorce is affecting the children.


Anyway, the incredible bit..!  I’d suggested to the kids’ mom that I spend a set half hour now and then teaching the boy english (at the moment we just speak a little as and when).  He point blank refused.  Thirteen year olds huh!  So on Monday when the dad came home he said he knew that Fred didn’t want to learn, but that he himself would like some lessons because he doesn’t speak any english and is going to the US next year so wants to learn. 

The reaction by the kids was incredible; Ginger straight away was like ‘me too, can I learn too??’ and then Fred piped up with oh I can help you learn too, we can use my english text books.  I guess at that age, kids still really look up to their parents in that ‘I want to do everything you do’ kinda way.  Well anyway it worked like a charm.  Tuesday we tried our first lesson.  Ginger was so enthusiastic, and Fred was so competitive that he kept correcting everyone so that helped him too.  I just never would have thought of it, and I was so impressed with their dad for doing so.


One extra little random thing I noticed was Ginger’s accent when she spoke.  We did a little bit of me saying a phrase and them repeating it, and her accent, though bizarre, was not a ‘french’ accent.  She was really making an effort to imitate what I said and I’m sure it must have something to do with her age (10) and how her speech hasn’t quite fixed on french pronounciation just yet, there still seems to be some flexibility there.  So yeah that was intriguing!


Au Revoir! xx

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