Thursday, November 10, 2011

Parenting 101: the not so easy part

The husband and I have this sort of abstract goal for our children.  We want them to grow up to be responsible, honest, hard working adults that we want actually want to be around.  Simple right?  Ya, simple. Right.

The goal sounds nice but the getting there, well, it's no cake walk.  Yumm, cake.  Anyhow, we're trying to help the kids understand that there are consequences to every action.  If you don't eat your dinner, dessert ain't gonna happen.  If you leave your toys in the family room, wave goodbye.  Those are immediate and simple consequences.  But sometimes those punks of ours make choices and no matter how much it hurts us or them, we just can't bail them out because back to our big abstract goal, we're trying to raise responsible adults.

This morning my oldest called me from school telling me that she had forgot her homework.  She wanted me to bring it to her.  Well, here's the problem.  I had asked her before we left the house if she was ready to go and she said yes.  She knows what needs to be done and she knew that her homework was due today.   She's 7, perfectly capable of packing her backpack.
She's playing her air guitar, cool huh?!
Sure I could've run home and picked it up and saved the day.  But, but, but... was that what she really needed?  I know it was awkward and uncomfortable for her to not have her homework and I wish that she had it to give to her teacher but I can't bail her out of a situation that I am certain she is going to learn from.  I would rather give my small children small opportunities to learn and even, eek, fail rather than picking up the slack for 18 years and saying "goodbye and good luck, let me know how the world treats you". 

So even though it killed me to say "sorry about that but it's not my job to remember your homework" I'm glad I did.  And honestly, I hope I never have to do it again, I can't handle that kind of stress, especially when I not eating sugar

Parenting without a clue,


PS- Just to clarify, the mistakes that they are allowed to make and learn from aren't life threatening or dangerous.  If there were a car coming and they decided to take a walk in the road, you'd better believe I'd be bailing them out of that one.


  1. Yay for you Momma! I would have done the same thing. I HAVE brought Colin his HW one time- because I was the one that buried it under my papers and he couldn't find it that morning.

  2. I think this is fantastic, Kristen!! Great job!

  3. Well done! By the way, that won't be the last time you have to choose whether or not to bail them out. It's just the beginning:)) Enjoy!!

  4. That's awesome. I'll bet it was hard to say no, but not nearly as hard as watching them get into huge trouble later in life. =) Way to go!

  5. Sounds like you're a fellow Love and Logic parent. Have you ever read those books or are you just instinctually gifted in ways I am not? I love this method of parenting. Natural consequences are always the best teachers.

  6. What was hard for me one time was when Justin left his coat at school and didn't have it the next morning. It was so chilly when I put him on the bus and it made my tummy ache to have him leave me that way. But I couldn't go to the school and get it for him. The school is 30 miles away. Poor kid.....helped him remember though. That part of parenting is hard though huh? I struggle with allowing my kids to have struggles.

  7. Check you out. I knew I liked you. I haven't had to make Braxton suffer any real consequences yet...well other than BYU blue fingernail polish on his pinky nail because he bit his nails...AGAIN. You give me courage to do it when it has to be done. Thanks!


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