DEAR ABBY: My kids attend a private school that has made it a goal to be a "blue ribbon" school. To that end, teachers pile on so much homework that many of our parents send our kids to bed after three hours and finish it ourselves. Our kids are completely overwhelmed with senseless piles of busywork.
This summer, our children had to read four substantial books and complete hefty vocabulary packets and math packets that required most of us parents to hire tutors. Our children are stressed, anxious and depressed. We have never indulged them with a lot of video game or TV time. I have considered pulling my kids out of this school, but the public schools around here are awful.
Parents are miserable. Kids are miserable. We want them to have a decent education, but we also want them to be happy people - and right now, no one is happy.
- Pressured Mom
DEAR PRESSURED: Are you aware that some educators feel that students should have no summer vacation at all, and should be in class year-round? The assignments your children were given may have been designed to keep their skills sharp so they would be prepared for the fall term. Because you and other parents feel your children are being overburdened with busywork, it's time to address this as a group with the principal so you can voice your concerns and get an explanation.
DEAR ABBY: My 12-year-old grandson lies often. His parents are trying to give him consequences for his lying as a "team effort." I don't want to be the stern grandma and have him have bad memories of me. When he lies to me what should I do?
- Grandma in St. Pete, Fla.
DEAR GRANDMA: Would you prefer your grandson remember you as the grandmother whose eye he could spit in, tell her it's raining and she would accept it? It would be better to ask him why he feels it is necessary to lie to someone who loves him, tell him that you expect honesty, and if you don't receive it there will be consequences.