Dear Lola,

I was arguing with my son about getting his homework finished, when he clobbered me over the head. Not physically, but mentally clobbered me. I was lecturing him about the need to learn all of these subjects because it is practical knowledge that we all need to have. I was doing a great job of making my case until he asked me the question that ended the argument. He wanted to know how he could be expected to retain all of this knowledge when his own teachers couldn’t do it. He pointed out that he has seven different teachers for his seven classes and even they are using books and teaching materials to give their lectures. He reasoned that if the material is so pertinent for him to memorize for tests, the teachers should have it memorized as well. Needless to say, the conversation ended because I was speechless. I had never thought of this before and now I’m wondering if the entire educational system is a farce. I need your help or I may never get my son to do his schoolwork again.


Father Forfeits the Feud

Dear Father Forfeits the Feud,

It seems you fell directly into the trap your Miniature Human laid out for you. It’s not your fault, it’s simply in your nature to stumble into these traps laid out by expert minds who excel in deception. It’s time to face it, you are a mere Hominid Wrangler. While capable of bandaging skinned knees and providing daily meals, your skills of deception have declined to simply hiding your favorite snack foods so that your Miniature Human doesn’t gobble them up before you can have a taste. In the years you have been attempting to get your progeny to go to bed before it’s time to wake up, your Miniature Human has been honing his skills of deceit and has a level of dexterity you can never hope to reacquire.

Instead of focusing on winning the argument, you would be better served by taking a nap.

Sure, you could look at it as losing the argument. And yes, you would have to listen to your Miniature Human gloat like the conqueror he is (that’s a given). But after taking that nap, at least you will feel slightly less cranky about the entire planet knowing you are not smarter than your Miniature Human. And before you ask – yes, the world will know.

Your Miniature Human will feel compelled to gloat on social media.

I wish I had better news for you, but you have solidly lost this argument. My Mommybeast did as well when I failed out of canine training school. The lady in charge of the class kept screeching at me to sit while holding a treat in front of my face. I ask you this sir – who in their right mind could sit still while a tasty treat is being dangled in front of their face?! It was too much to expect out of me and I made sure my Mommybeast knew it. I refused to sit and I haven’t regretted that decision for a single day. When Mommybeast tried to use logic on me, I merely pointed out that she herself has thrown herself across entire rooms when she hears the bag of cookies crinkle in the kitchen. Never once did I see her sit contentedly and wait for a cookie to magically appear in her mouth. Mommybeast ran as fast as her chubby little legs would propel her.

A feat that would impress even the fastest Olympic gold medal winners.

So you see, my Mommybeast lost her argument just as you have lost yours. Take the nap and regroup when it’s over. If you’re still feeling quarrelsome, I recommend you take it to the school. Maybe it’s time for someone to question why a Miniature Human is required to memorize the same subject matter that other humans spent decades, and a small fortune, learning. You may have to move your son to a new school, but that’s a small price to pay to appease your curiosity.

I suppose I need to at least offer you a small measure of hope.

I went on to learn a wide variety of human commands in order to please my Mommybeast. Once the treats were removed, and I no longer had to put up with the screeching harpy who insisted I bow to her will, learning came easy. Mommybeast trained me using a huge dose of patience interspersed with a plethora of belly rubs. You could try this technique on your Miniature Human and see if he begins doing his schoolwork again. If not, it might be time to think about a trade school. Academia is not for everyone and the world will always need plumbers and electricians – whose paychecks have been skyrocketing over the last decade as people turn up their noses at the trade profession!


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3 replies on “Dear Lola – Son stops doing schoolwork after winning debate with dad…

  1. The problem is the school system is somewhat of a farce. I am finishing up my 25th year in it. I have been lucky because I have always taught in alternative programs with students who are hanging in the school system by their fingertips. so admin is pretty happy that they have capable warm body in that position.

    I taught in Juvy for 11 years and now teach the emotionally disturbed in a middle school program. Anyway, I really don’t teach to a test. I think the only time I have really tested kids is for assessments and when I co-taught math.

    I have used the Socratic Method of teaching for years and the kids love it. Teaching them to critically think is a skill that is lost. Why should they throw-up a bunch of facts when they can dive deeply into a subject.

    A kid in my class just got an “A” for the semester the other day for giving one thought and pursing it. We have been studying organized religions and we started on Christianity. We went over the basics and such, then he threw out this gem, “If Christianity is about love, then why does my grandmother who says she is Christian, hate her neighbor?” Serious genius stuff. So in my view, he is critically thinking and getting to the root of the subject which is way more meaningful than facts and stats.

    The problem is that on standardized tests critical thinking skills are not rewarded and crazy-ass parents and school admin love measurables.

    Sorry for being so long.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I absolutely agree with everything you said! I do think it is more important that we teach kids how to assess the world around them, as opposed to memorizing facts that they may or may not need in the future based on the profession they choose. Anyone can memorize, but learning to think through a problem is a skill so many kids don’t seem to have as they leave school.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. OMG that is so true!! You hit the nail on the head, Lola! The teachers I remember most are the ones who made us think, not just memorize facts. If you have no framework to use the facts they are useless.
    Thanks, Lola! Love you

    Liked by 1 person

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