Thursday, March 11, 2010

When I was in high school and totally in love with college basketball, there was a coach named Nolan Richardson. Richardson was the coach of the University of Arkansas, and he named the style of play his team played, "40 Minutes of Hell". He chose that particular term because his team would play up tempo on offense, and with intense pressure on defense. The goal was to get the other team to succumb to this intense pressure.

While I certainly don't want him succumbing, I do plan on executing my own version of this on my son this weekend, except mine will be called 36 Hours of Hell.

My 12 year old son's excuses as to why his grades were poor was a bunch of horsesh*t. And the sad part is, it sounded like he put a tremendous amount of thought behind it, which I commend him for on one hand, but on the other hand, I'd like to have seen that type of effort put to better use. He said he had distractions at home, he said switching schools in late December was tough, and he said the work is more difficult, which sounds great. But when all of his teachers are telling me that his homework never gets done, and he's not turning in assignments, it screams of a lack of effort more than anything else. Plus I can't tell him that his mother is (fill in a unsavory adjective) and this is contributing to his downfall as well. He doesn't need excuses, he needs better results, and I will help him achieve those.

So, from the time he arrives on Saturday morning, to when he leaves late Sunday afternoon, the young fella will be uncomfortable. We will start by having a long talk about what his second semester expectations are. Then, my father will join us for lunch, and my son will have to hear that same bullsh*t speeches my father delivered to me when I was putting out a sub par effort at this same age. Next, we will take a reprieve from the madness, and attend a Wizards game; however, I will be working that game, which means my father and son will be sitting next to each other (aka the lessons will continue).

On Sunday morning, we will head to my brother's house, where my mother is staying for the weekend. My brother, who also had his challenges in school at one point (way worse than me though..sorry Jamal) will talk to and/or lightly assault my son. My sister-in-law, who is a teacher right now, will join in on the fun, and then my mother will bring up the rear. In fact, my mother will do something far worse than anyone else can do, and that is talk him to death. Then after she talks, I'm quite sure she'll unveil a tailor-made, 90 minute rambling prayer for my son, that not even I can save him from...actually I may jump in, that's just cruel.

And finally, before he leaves, I will make my son watch this Magic Johnson/Larry Bird documentary on HBO for three good reasons:
1) I haven't seen it yet and I want to.
2) My son thinks basketball begins and ends with LeBron James, and he needs to be taught otherwise
3) I can make him write me a couple pages on what he saw and learned.

Win Win Win.

I know this won't cure all his current academic woes, but it'll at least put something on his mind until 2 weeks from now when he returns.

Thank you for letting me "talk" this out.


£ said...

you've got to nip it in the bud! © barney fife

two enthusiastic thumbs up.

(of course if I was the kid in this situation I'd feel different but as an adult I appreciate and commend your approach. good job dad!)

Janelle said...

Kudos, buddy!!! This is a critical time for your son, and he needs to realize that despite what's going on in his world, he's accountable for HIS actions. (btw, his reasons are quite valid but he's letting things outside of his control affect the things he can control and THAT is unacceptable).

For YC, being the kid in this situation, I'm scared for him because this family warning is a precursor to the old fashion foot up the ass if you don't do better. But its necessary and one day (not this weekend), he will thank you. Just not anytime soon. hahaha

Carolinaware said...

Good job there sir. I just finished giving out a semester of hell of for all of the same reasons.

"Moved on to a harder school'.

"Boys" (I have all girls and it was the oldest with the issues)

Just a total lack of 'I don't think he will find out.

Ah the life of a parent. Giving out the same speeches that your parents gave to you. Like you, I have a teacher (actually five of 'em) in the family. Two of them are her grandparents. Needless to say, her 'vacation' to Disney' (Vacation was already booked.)was full of those same talks your son probably endured for the weekend. Along with a whole lotta 'work' while others (her sisters) got to play. Seven whole days of 'Why & how you are going to do better' works wonders.

Good job again sir.