Friday, October 2, 2009

Letting Your Kids Fail

It is something akin to watching a car crash in slow motion that you know you could have prevented. It's like a dream, but so real. I am referring, of course, to allowing your children to fail.

You can also file this post under things I never did when I was working.

This morning, I made a spur of the moment, I hope life-changing decision. I let Tank be late for school. If I don't put down the crack pipe now, when will I?

What crack pipe? What is this crazy itchy-bee talking about?

I am talking about the crack pipe of enablement. Of picking up their toys or dirty socks after you've told them to do it. I'm talking about doing everything short of wiping their bottoms. I'm talking about making a kid a simple list of things to do in the morning and the time by which said items must be completed and then having to hound them about it. Enough.

Tank's morning list:
  • snuggle
  • eat breakfast
  • get dressed
  • brush teeth
  • make bed
  • load backpack
  • by 8:00 am
This is a kid who got up more than an hour before it was time to leave for school. This is a kid whose mother told him to get dressed three times. Then that mother simply went and sat in the car in the driveway with the motor running and with her younger child in tow.

It was hard. I watched parades of seemingly identical minivans with coffee tumbler toting, smiling moms behind the wheel glide leisurely past our house. Still I waited.

It took ten minutes.

At last, he appeared. "You need a coat". He disappeared for two minutes. "Did you brush your teeth?" He disappeared for another four minutes. We arrived about a minute after the second bell. There is a substitute today. I do not know if she made him go to the office. He's never been late. Never. His father and I made sure of that.

He seemed subdued. He seemed reformed. He said it was the first time and the last time he would be late for school. Ah, we shall see...

1 comment:

  1. Hoorah for you!!! A Mom after my own heart! You go girl!!!!!