What to do about declining grades

January 16th, 2012

© Coming to America

As Featured in the January 15, 2012 Ask Daft Daddy column in the The Orange County Register :  

Happy Martin Luther King Day! Now I know this day is about celebrating equality, but according to my mother-in-law Jeri, there is no baby in all the land that is equal to my 4-month-old son, wee Mac. You would think he’s the prince and heir to the throne of Zamunda by the way she spoils him.

But in fairness to her, wee Mac is her first grandchild. And let’s face it – spoiling is what new grandparents do. At the end of the day it’s just nice to know that she will always love him – even if he ends up mopping floors for a living at McDowell’s when he’s older.

So without further ado, let me get to the Daft Daddy mail bag:

Dear Daft Daddy: My son has gone from an A and B student from K through 3rd grade, to a C and D student in 4th grade. He’s going in the complete opposite direction. He doesn’t care if he does his homework or not. He just doesn’t want to bother with school work anymore. I know some of it has to do with him having a bad teacher. How can I get him back on track?

– Alma from Chino Hills

Dear Alma: Daft Daddy is familiar with this problem. I spent more time in the 4th grade than Bart Simpson. The reasons why your son is suddenly doing poorly in school can be many.

Dr. Elizabeth M. Alderman, a Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, suggests that you first speak with your child, and then speak with his teacher to determine what the problem might be. It may be as simple as you helping your son with his homework, or as complicated as seeking professional help. The important thing here is to be proactive. If not, your son could end up with the nickname Rerun. And trust me, there is nothing happening about that nickname.


Dear Daft Daddy: We have two young boys who share a bedroom together. The oldest is turning 10, and they both would like their own room. Being we don’t really have an extra room to do this, I have to ask – how important is it that kids have their own bedrooms?

-Michael from Santa Ana, CA

Dear Michael: Growing up, Daft Daddy and his little brother shared the same bedroom until we graduated from high school. Even Burt and Ernie thought that was a long time to share a room together.

There are two schools of thought here, and it really depends on your parenting style. Some parents believe sharing a room teaches their children to resolve conflicts and adapt to other people’s needs, while other parents feel children need their own space to maintain a certain level of independence and privacy. It really comes down to what you think is best for your children.

Personally, I tend to lean towards sharing a room like Burt and Ernie did. Although, I would probably feel differently if my little brother went around stealing my nose all the time.


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