I was a bad mommy this week. I actually sent my son to school without lunch, without snack and without his schoolwork. Why? Because it’s his responsibility, not mine.
I know, I know, he’s only a child, he can’t keep up with all these things all the time. But my thought is, why not? I think he should be able to remember without 16 reminders. Furthermore, am I doing him any favors by giving him 16 reminders?
The “mommy to the rescue” approach was not building any worthwhile qualities in myself or my son. After all, the school years are truly about teaching children preparedness for life. Planning ahead, problem solving and the consequences of forgetting your backpack are also part of the learning.
Lately I have been noticing all the little ways I have made myself a slave to my child’s needs. I was doing things for him that he can very well do himself. The greater mommy lesson is I was robbing my child a learning opportunity by doing everything for him. Snowplowing my child’s path wasn’t contributing to his sense of confidence or independence.
As I dropped my son off empty handed and he tried bravely to wipe away his tears, my heart broke for him. To face a full day without his schoolwork, without a snack and lunch might seem pretty scary to him. But I was confident that it would take only take one time of forgetting for this lesson to take hold.
I knew the school wouldn’t let him go hungry. I knew his teachers would help him along. But I wanted him to know certain things are up to him. If it takes the bad mommy to show my son how capable and smart and wise he is, so be it. Because I know he is. And now he does too.