Experts tell us to let our kids fail. How else will they learn, they say. In theory, I agree. In practice, it’s harder to stand on the sidelines and watch.
Our oldest is an easy, agreeable child who works hard in school and is a kind and thoughtful friend. He’s going through (we hope) a stage where he’d forget his own head if it wasn’t attached.
He’s forgotten homework at school, his coat at a party and his shoes in the yard, to name a few. The first time he forgot his homework assignment book, he and I jumped in the car and raced to the school to get it. The second (and third) time he forgot, I let him face the consequences. He flipped his card, his teacher’s method to keep kids accountable.
Most mornings, and today is no exception, I head to the gym immediately after the kids board the school bus. I return an hour or so later to find this message on the answering machine:
“Hello? Mom? (whisper, whisper) Um, I’m at school and I forgot my yellow music folder? Can you bring it? Thanks? (click)”
Did I mention I.’s also terribly sweet and appreciative? I look at the clock. I can’t remember, is music in the morning or afternoon?
I race into the front office waving a bright yellow folder and the front secretaries nod knowingly. One calls his class and Ian enters the office and smiles.
“Am I too late?”
“Yeah, but it’s OK,” he says. “I forgot.” I’m rewarded with a big grin. Did I tell you he’s learning responsibility too?