On Cheating…

Welcome to my day… 
My sweet little daughter has a habit of making the worst choices. She has gained, in time, the ability to look ahead at the potential outcome of a situation but she seldom cares. She has admitted that it is well worth the risk, for the times when she “wins” and does not get caught. 
Honestly, I have no idea how to parent that. 
For instance, with school… 
Though she is a compulsive liar and a habitual thief, we hadn’t crossed the threshold of cheating until this week. While she was supposed to be looking up definitions and writing them down, for her spelling words- I was folding laundry in the laundry room. When I returned to look over her work I noticed something fishy. To define each word was one other word. “inspire” suddenly meant “encourage”. “Window” suddenly meant “pane.” I chose to dig out my Nancy Drew skills and get to the bottom of what was going on, and chose the word “inspire” as my starting place. 
M- So, why didn’t you look up inspire in the dictionary? 
G- I did. That’s what it said. You can even check. 
M- That is all it said? 
G- yes! you can even check. I’m not lying. 
M- show me. 
G- It isn’t in there. 
M- What isn’t in there? 
G- Inspire
M- Yes it is, Genny. I thought you said this was the definition it gave? (i pointed at “encourage”) 
G- No. No i didn’t. I said that’s the definition the book gives. 
I look at the blank like, in the book, where she wrote “encourage”. 
M- Where? 
G- in the book. 
M- What book?
G- It doesn’t matter.
M- it does. 
G- The answer key. 
M- Show me. 
Turns out she was reading the answers to a match quiz. Joke would be on her, but she wouldn’t let it go. 
G- It’s not cheating because the word isn’t in the dictionary. 
M- It IS cheating, and the word IS in the dictionary. 
G- no it’s not. you are ignorant and don’t know. 
M- look it up. 
I watch her flip through dramatically, wailing. 
G- SEE???? (She shouts, glaring at me.) 
I take the book, go to the pages and find the very lengthy definition for “inspire.” 
M- oh look, here it is. 
G- YOU HATE ME, DON’T YOU. YOU JUST WANT TO RUIN MY LIFE!
{*enter momentary confusion here*}
M- so that you are clear on the seriousness of your words and situation, I am going to ignore your drama and ask you write this definition 10 times. 
G- no. 
M- ok. twenty five times it is then. You drive a hard bargain. 
G- that’s not fair! I haven’t done anything wrong!
M- ok. I hadn’t realized you were out for fairness, let me rethink this. You are right, I’m not being fair to this situation.
G- thank you! finally, someone understands me. 
M- I would like for you to write the definition to each word in the unit (22) ten times each. In cursive. I would like this done, along with your school work by five tomorrow. (it was noon)
Much drama and tears, screaming, etc. followed this. She refused to do anything else for the rest of her very rage filled day. Enter this morning… Chw reminds her of her task/consequence. She ignores him completely. After breakfast and a trip to the library, I remind her. 
G- It is impossible to do all of those words plus school work by 5. 
M- then maybe you should have started yesterday when it was possible. Regardless, I want them done. If it isn’t, worse consequences will have to be addressed. 
Dramatic tears and wailing follow her to the table. Chw packs his dinner and leaves for work. I glance at Genny before sitting down to do my quiet time devotions and see she is writing away. 
20 minutes later she tells me she is done. 
M- with all of the words? 
G- yes. 
M- the entire list? 
G- yep! 
So I check the 3 pages she hands me. The three pages with the definition of “inspire” written ten times. 
M- Where is the rest? 
G- the rest of what? 
M- the rest of your list of words. 
G- What??? This is all you said to do. I was there. you can ask daddy. This is ALL I am supposed to do. 
So, I reminded her. She screamed, wailed and pulled out hair. 
I called my husband. 
He repeated what I had said. Genny, of course, accused him of taking my side for everything. 
He repeated to her she had til 5. (it was noon. exactly 24 hours later) 
When questioned on what she felt a “fitting” punishment would be, her response was “nothing! I haven’t done anything wrong.” 
I’m turning in my resignation. 
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8 thoughts on “On Cheating…

  1. For some reason, I'm reading this with a very amused look on my face. Not because I think your situation is funny, or because I delight in other people's exasperation, but because I don't think some people "GET" where you're coming from sometimes. And this blog… it just spelled it all right out. GOOD FOR YOU!! I love seeing how you stick to your guns and make your daughter's life the most miserable, most secure, most awful, most wonderful thing ever. Kudos!

  2. Consistency is key and you are awesome for not having your own melt down. Did you read Mama Kat's post about her childhood and the kitties she collected when her mom wasn't looking? I don't know what her relationship with her Mom is now, but I thought of you and your sweet daughter when I was reading that for some reason.

  3. Oh my! What an event. Hubs and I don't have children yet, but he (the hubs) is a student and sometimes we have events like this… not so dramatic, we are such mature adults (lol) but there have definitely been the "is your homework done?" "no" "then why are you playing video games" conversation. I can't wait to have a teenager :)

  4. Good job stickin' to your guns. Just cuz she won't admit wrong-doing, doesn't mean she won't benefit from the discipline. Our kids don't HAVE to lik us. *Sigh*

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