How do we bring up responsible adults if we’re constantly doing everything for our children? Don’t judge me if you happen to see my children consuming wrapped Ritz crackers for school lunch.
Don’t judge me if they’re on the bench in PE because they forgot to take their uniform. Don’t judge me if they didn’t turn in their schoolwork because it’s still sitting home on their desk.
What some people may observe as poor parenting skills are what I believe to be parenting on purpose, as we work to form necessary life skills in our kids. I stopped making day-to-day breakfasts and packing school lunches long ago.
I don’t feel obliged to send forgotten items left behind at home. School assignments and homework are not any part of my existence. How do we rear capable adults if we’re continuously doing everything for our children?
Walk away from performing these 8 things for your teenager this school year.
1. Waking them up in the morning
If you find yourself still waking little Johnny up every morning, it’s time to let an alarm clock do its job. My four children are expected to get themselves up for school every morning since they started middle school. There are days one will come out racing with only a little time to spare before they have to be out the door. The snooze button no longer feels comfortable when it’s causing you to miss breakfast.
I heard a Mom actually express out loud that her teen sons were still so adorable, that she enjoyed going in and waking them up every morning. Please stop. I find my sons just as adorable as you do, but our aim is to raise well-functioning adults here.
2. Making their breakfast and packing their lunch
My morning alarm is the sound of the teenagers clanging cereal bowls. My responsibility is to make sure there is food in the house so that they can make breakfast and pack a lunch.
One friend inquired, yeah but how do you know what they’re taking for school lunch? I don’t. I know what food I have in my cupboard and it’s their responsibility to pack what they feel is a good lunch. It will only be a few short years and I will have no clue what they will be eating for any of their meals away at college. Free yourself away from the PB and J station now.
3. Filling out their paperwork
I have a lot of kids, which means a lot of beginning of the school year paperwork. I used to fear this pile until the kids became of age to fill all of it out themselves. Our teens are expected to fill out all of their own paperwork, to the best of their knowledge. They place the papers to be signed on a clipboard and leave it for me on the kitchen counter. I sign them and place them back on their desks.
Hold your teens responsible. They will need to fill out job and college applications soon and they need to know how to do that without your interference.
4. Delivering their forgotten items
Monday morning we pulled out of the driveway and shrieked around the corner of the house when daughter dear realized she forgot her phone. We have to return, Mom! Another one shouted that he forgot his recently washed PE uniform folded in the laundry room. I slammed on the brakes in hesitation as I considered turning around. No Way! Off we go, as the image surfaced of both of them fooling around with their phones just before it was time to leave.
Parents don’t skip opportunities to deliver natural consequences for your teenagers. Forget something? Feel the agony of that. Kids also get to see, that you can go through the day without regret or remorse consuming you.
We also have a rule that Mommy and Daddy are not to receive begging texts from school requesting for forgotten items. It still occurs, but we have the right to just reply back with “That’s a Bummer.”
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