Forgotten homework. Instrument. Water bottle. PE Uniform. Lunch. Cell phone. And the list goes on.
You name it and our kids will forget it. And then they’ll want us to deliver it.
How do we respond, instead of react, to their pleas for help?
I was driving my triplets to high school, when my son sitting shotgun gasped, “Oh no, I forgot my paper sitting on the printer!” As he voiced this, my mind began scrambling scenarios of how I could get his needed item to him. Before I could conjure up a working plan in my head, he said, “I’ll have to run in the library and reprint it quick I guess. I’m so glad we can print things off at school.”
Problem solved by the person who had the problem.
My son’s first instinct wasn’t to involve me in solving his dilemma for him. He came up with his own solution and never knew that I was plotting in my head how I might be able to come to the rescue. Thank goodness I kept my mouth shut.
We parents have a habit of swooping in for the rescue instead of allowing our child the space to problem solve on their own.
If every high school would implement this policy, we would all be better off. But why did this principal’s simple message posted on Facebook create animosity? Why is my viral post on walking away from doing things for our teens doing the same thing?
Because some parents view teaching kids problem-solving skills as unloving, when I believe the opposite is true.
How do you discern when to bail your kid out and when to let natural consequences be their guide?
When our children bought their cell phones, we set a boundary about not using them as an SOS to Mom and Dad to bring forgotten items to school. Not because we don’t love them, but because it’s too easy to allow our kids to fall into the habit of texting us for help instead of problem-solving on their own.