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?