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Saturday, August 20, 2016

Good For Them!!

A Catholic high school for boys in Arkansas posted a sign on their door advising parents that they do now allow them to bring forgotten items to their sons.

Good for them!

I can't count the number of times my kids called me because they forgot one thing or another ... lunch money, textbooks, musical instruments, a field trip permission slip, etc. I'd have to leave work, rush home, find the item (not always as easy as it sounds), and take it to their school. I remember one week, when Thing 1 was in high school, she forgot something three days in a row. Not to worry ... call mom! The first two times I brought her whatever it was she had forgotten. I drew the line on Wednesday.

When she realized I wasn't bringing her her flute, she panicked. "But, Mom, I'll get in trouble if I don't have my flute!!!"

To which I replied, "Then I guess you'll remember it next time, won't you?"

And she did.

That is a lesson I had to teach all three of my kids. I didn't mind bringing them something they forgot every great once in a while, but as the years went on, it seemed they were forgetting things more often. I was enabling their forgetfulness. They didn't have to remember! Letting them suffer the consequences of their absentmindedness taught them responsibility.

Schools (and society) seem to be catering more and more to children to alleviate any unpleasantness or feelings of anxiety. Everybody gets a trophy, even if you come in last place. Some schools are even doing away with valedictorians so that students don't have to feel bad about their own grades or offering to send home a fake report card with better grades to show Tommy and Susie so that they don't feel bad about their real grades.

I think it's better to teach children that if you don't want to feel bad about your grades, work harder. Do your homework. Pay attention in class. If you send home a fake report card to trick a child into thinking they are doing better than they actually are, what motivation do they have to get better grades? They think they already are getting better grades! And I say children should know from the get-go that if they want a trophy, they have to practice more and train harder. If you suck at basketball, you don't get rewarded. Find something you can excel in.

Kids today are so coddled they are sorely ill-prepared for life after high school. Colleges don't care if you turn in your homework. They don't even care if you come to class! And they don't call mommy and daddy to ask what they can do to help you. You paid for the class ... if you want to throw your money away, it's no skin off their teeth. They consider you an adult, and it's your prerogative to pass or fail.

As a kid, you get lots of do-overs. Adults? Not so much. So kudos to at least one school willing to teach their students to be responsible. If my kids' schools had done that, I would have saved a fortune in gas and got a lot more done at work!

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