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So, what do you do when you lose your leverage?  Because I am completely baffled.

All of Cody’s life we have heard teacher after teacher tell us how smart he was.  But, it was always like this: “Cody is very smart, however he doesn’t apply himself.”


“Cody is very smart and does very well in my class…. when he ACTUALLY TRIES.”

When he was younger, he would simply not turn in the majority of his homework and then get A’s on all the tests and let it average out.  Tests he never studied for, by the way.  We tried everything you could possibly imagine to change this pattern of behavior.  Grounding him, taking things away, losing privileges, writing pages of definitions for words like “responsibility” or “integrity”…  it was maddening.

Once he started high school, this strategy didn’t work as well for him.  That’s when we started saying to him, you know…. if you don’t apply yourself in high school and get good grades, you won’t get into college.  You would THINK this would work, since he said he wanted to go to college.  Nope.  So, we tried taking away his car, grounded him from his friends, took away all the power cords attached to electronic things in his ENTIRE room.  And yet?  Things stayed the same.

I would think to myself, well… this sucks, but I guess he will have to learn his lesson the hard way.

ACT test time came.  Do you think he studied?  Nope.  I told him when he had to take it again to get a better score, he would have to pay for it.

Then he goes and gets not just a good score, he gets a  GREAT score.  In the Reading portion he even gets a perfect score.


I tried to say, just think if you had studied! Maybe you should actually study and then take it again!!  But, his guidance counselor told him raising his score a few points wouldn’t have mattered much anyway, since his score was already above average.

So, he applies to two colleges and gets accepted to both.  Even with a shitty GPA!  WTH?

Wave good bye to my leverage, as it floats right out the window.

Now we have conversations like this:

Me – You have a test tomorrow, did you study?

Cody – No.

Me – Errrrrrrrr…. well, if you don’t study, then…………..


you know, you want to make sure that you……..

urrrrggggggghhh…………………. dammit…………………….

……………………………………………………….you should study.

Cody – (smirking)  Ok?

Good lord.

It is not like I didn’t want him to get into college, of course I wanted him to.  But, I wanted him to WORK FOR IT.  Is that so wrong??  He is a good kid.  I think he is going to be an amazing adult and do great things in his life.  I guess I just wanted him to listen to me, do what I say, let me be right and THEN get into college.



5 thoughts on “Leverage

  1. Or lord that is maddening!! Dang smart kids!!! Maybe it will hit him in college. College does tend to be a tad hard. Does he know what he wants to major in?


  2. Ohmygod, I am in so much trouble. Trevor is exactly the same. Thos words from your teachers? word for word, I’ve heard them…..sigh….. He just got accepted into the gifted program at his middle school, and you know the reason he is the happiest about it? Because he can test out of doing homework in some of his classes. yep. Yes, it’s great he is smart, but when your kid is smarter than you and knows it….well, that can be a problem. the biggest issue is that he tested practically off the charts in his IQ test for the verbal section (169! hello!!) so I have no hope of reasoning with him over anything. He wins every time. and he’s only 13!


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