Mean mommies let consequences happen

By | November 8, 2013

If you haven’t figured it out by now, I’m organized. I like being prepared. I overslept the last two days – not enough to be late for anything, just late enough to make the morning hectic. And it mentally threw me off for the day. Which is probably why lack of responsibility in my kids just kills me.

I know that they’re kids. And that responsibility has to be taught. But when does teaching turn into nagging…and a crutch? How do you know when to step back and just let things happen?

In a sense, it depends on the child. My ADHD-, anxiety-riddled oldest still needs me to provide structure and organization for him. My middle child (3rd grade), on the other hand, is perfectly capable of keeping up with his schoolwork himself. But he’s kind of lazy. His worst grades are on open-book projects, because he just doesn’t want to be bothered with having to look up the answer. And it’s driving me nuts. So when he didn’t bring home the book he needed to study for a test, I didn’t call around trying to find an extra text book or a mom who would make me a copy of the study guide. And I didn’t punish him or take away his Minecraft privileges. That happens if he gets a bad grade on the test. To me, that puts the focus on the principle – not being responsible enough to prepare for the test – rather than the specific act of leaving his book at school.

I do the same thing with homework. If he doesn’t bring his planner home, I don’t call around and try to find out what he’s supposed to do. He just has to go to school without it and deal with the consequences, whether it’s sitting out recess at school or consequences at home for bad grades. I don’t mind the occasional rescue, but when he keeps jumping in over his head, he eventually has to learn to swim.

What do you think? Do you rescue your kids when it comes to their schoolwork? Or do let them fail something and deal with the consequences? How young is too young?

4 thoughts on “Mean mommies let consequences happen

  1. KHend

    You know I’ve done it all. Rescued by returning to school to get something, called/texted/emailed another Mom (*ahem), and let her go to school empty-handed! One of my friends who’s further along in the Motherhood journey reminds me to make sure the punishment fits the crime. Who hasn’t forgotten something? I leave stuff at my office I need at home and vice-versa, kids are only human. If it happens daily, clearly there’s a bigger issue but if it’s only occasionally, what is the harm and letting your kids know you have their back?

    1. Post author

      Oh, I agree. My whole point was about when it becomes a habit. I’ve done my share of rescuing when it’s warranted.

  2. Lara

    I am a firm believer in consequences at a young age. If your toddler likes to crawl under the table and stands up and bumps his head, he’ll be more careful next time. If your grade schooler forgets her lunch often and the consequence is having to eat the disgusting school lunch, she’ll do better at remembering. As they get older, the consequences get bigger and harder to watch. But it’s necessary or you’ll be bailing them out forever.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.