Battling Grumpy Cat

Today’s post is about my son, Grumpy Cat.

No! Just No!
No! Just No! Which one is which? You be the judge.

Recently we haven’t been a very happy kitty. With all that school compounded with play, there aren’t enough hours in the day to fit them all! So what gets thrown out the window? Well, schoolwork of course.

It all came to a head last night, when we discovered that he’d done precisely nothing for his science fair project that was due yesterday morning.

He piddled and fiddled and diddled around for several months, and nothing really got assembled. We’d been warning him since the middle of last autumn that if he didn’t get his act that privileges would be pulled.

He’s recently met some online buddies and spends the majority of his time with them. Not that I’m particularly against that or anything; I have some perfectly amazing online buddies. But I don’t generally forego sleep, work, or making meals to hang out with them.

It’s all part of the growing process I guess. I never really slacked with homework as a kid, so it’s foreign to me just to blow off my studies. I was also too nervous about offending a teacher (just about the only friends I had in high school) to really do anything egregious like slag a paper for an all-night marathon of who-knows-what.

I guess as a kid, I also didn’t really have options like Grumpy Cat does. I lived in the country, without a car, in the days before internet, and only a television channel and a half that really gave us reception. Our social life was church, and my involvement with the high school choir. I didn’t spend much time on the phone. I sat around and read on rainy nights rather than using Skype to connect with people 1000 miles away.

So I can’t really blame him for being distracted. I Guess after a fashion, it’s our fault for not being strict enough? Last night ended in rage and tears, after I password-locked the computers, deleted Skype, and limited his computer access for homework-only, until his grades rose to a C again. Work that is perfectly simple for him (Trigonometry, for example), he is failing not because he doesn’t understand the material, but because homework is less fun than watching videos on YouTube with his friends.

It’s an age-old conundrum, and I’m sure I’m not the only parent to fight this fight. I just wish I knew what to do. I’ve never really been one to administer whippins-real-good if the kids aren’t behaving. And even if I did resort to not sparing the rod, Grumpy Cat a is pretty stinking enormous fedora-wearing sixteen-year old.

Does anyone have advice? You’d think after all these years, I’d know how to deal with kids who blow off advice, and homework, but I guess I never got that lesson in college.


Grumpy cat says no? well, fine. Grumpy Cat shall have no Nintendo. Something’s gotta work.


4 thoughts on “Battling Grumpy Cat”

  1. It’s probably the most difficult of all endeavors…Parenting, that is. From my perspective, making your child “tow the line” is as hard on the parent, who wants to give everything to their kid, and who subsequently feels guilty when they don’t. Stand your ground Brian. In the end, you will be glad that you did. That’s why they call it Parenting!


  2. I’ve struggled with similar issues for years. With my boys, it’s music and reading. Don’t get me wrong. They love a good You-Tube video as much as the next guy, but it’s difficult to be angry with them for reading or practicing the trumpet or violin. I overcome that, though, when the thought of one of them, age 30 and living on my sofa, springs to mind. If only I didn’t feel like a criminal for saying “Okay. No trips to the library for YOU, mister!!”

    I comfort myself with the knowledge that, along the way, I have screwed up enough times that no one will be able to pinpoint the exact moment it all went to hell. In that, I have plausible deniability. Maybe I should make up greeting cards with that sentiment and pass them out to new parents at the hospital. What do you think?


  3. We have similar Grumpy Cats. The only thing that worked for ours is what you’re doing: being strict with computer usage. I’m proud of you. Parenting is not for weenies 😦


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