Am I being firm or unkind?

Don't ask why, but THIS is the 'cool' cap, he's so desperate for.

Don’t ask why, but THIS is the ‘cool’ cap, he’s so desperate for.

Drama at school this morning as Mr M&P arrived for mufti day only to realise that unlike the rest of the boys in his class, he had forgotten to wear a cool cap and instead was sentenced to an embarrassing day with only his daggy green wide-brimmed hat to protect him from the harsh Australian sun.

Trying to instill the idea that he needs to be responsible for his own items for school has been an ongoing battle – readers, library books, notes etc are ignored and forgotten with such tedious regularity that I really felt that I had to hold my ground, even though he had worked himself up into quite a tizz.

He wanted me to go home and return with his cool cap. I told him that he’d have to wear his regular school hat, instead. The conversation deteriorated to this point…

Him: “But muuummmmmmmmyyyyy, if you loved me, you go and get my cap.”
Me: “If I really loved you, I let you learn the lesson that you need to be in charge of all your own things.”
Him: “But I haven’t learned that lesson yet.”
Me: “Yes, you’re learning it right now.”
Him: “But I’ll look stupid.”
Me: “No, you always look handsome and I always love you.”

Bell rings, saving me.

He sucked it up and joined the line with all the little boys wearing the coolest assortment of caps known to man.

I’ve got to go out again soon, and I’m thinking that I might just go via school and pop his cap into his bag, ready to surprise him at lunchtime. Is it the right thing to do? Or am I a sucker?

_______________

Now apologies – there’s no recipe this week. I’m desperately trying to finish off my new cookbook instead. I promise you a chocolately, awesome treat next time, which definitely is worth the wait.

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24 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Rachel said,

    Surprise him, he’s had his lesson (a morning of the daggy hat) now make that little boy’s day!

  2. 2

    Amanda said,

    I think you’ve done the right thing – when I was younger, I was responsible for my own things. My mum started work quite early, and my dad dropped me at school on his way to work – my dad was a typical bloke and had no idea what I needed for school, so if I didn’t remember, it was forgotten altogether. There’s only so many swimming days that you miss out on before you remember your bathers! My brother was the opposite – he had everything done for him, and even to this day he STILL forgets everything.

  3. 3

    Jackie said,

    A Mothers guilt knows no bounds! He will be fine and I know for sure he won’t be the only kid there wearing their school hat! 🙂

  4. 4

    Jane. said,

    My eldest is very similar with her possesions – no sense of responsiblity about them, lots of lost hats/jackets/notes, hysterics about mufti days that she lost the note for and so on. I refused to go back and get stuff – hats, library bags etc. It was really hard to do as she delivers Oscar worthy performances, and I see other mum’s bailing their kids out. However I stuck by it all last year. This year she has been brilliant. She hasn’t lost a thing and when she does forget something (like leaves a hat or jacket at school) she has taken responsibility for looking for it. End result – on the odd occasion she does loose or forget I will bail her out, becuase now she is good most of the time.

    Sometimes being a good mum means feeling like a bad mum. I would’t go back 😛

  5. 6

    Annmarie said,

    I’d say stand your ground only because a couple of weeks ago we went to a preparation for school evening and that is exactly what they said to do. It is easier said than done though. Especially since I have lost count of how many times I have run back to preschool with things which is fortunately 30 seconds down the road. Oh, who am I kidding, I’d go back but remind him this afternoon it is the last time you are going to do it for him.

  6. 7

    Annmarie said,

    Nope, scratch that. The right thing to do would be to stand your ground as hard as it is for a mum to do.

    • 8

      wendyblume said,

      i love it Annmarie – you’re as indecisive as me! nah. I’m about to go out now and I’ve decided to leave it. but he goes to swimming lessons this arvo, so I’ll have a nice treat waiting for him to eat on the way there.

  7. 9

    Meg said,

    If drop it in – imagine the smile on his face!!

  8. 10

    K said,

    Personally – I think just leave it as is. He wouldn’t be the only one wearing a ‘non-cool’ hat.

    Not only that, it goes against everything you have been trying to implement here. You are not punishing him ; you are sending a clear message that one must be responsible for their own items. Not only that what message are you sending yourself? What message are you sending him? As Dr. Phil would say you are enabling him. Plus think of the sun safe message too. What happens tomorrow when he leaves his drink bottle on the kitchen sink? Save yourself a trip and petrol and use this time for yourself. Enjoy some ‘me’ time. You deserve it.

    Ps: I went through a similar experience at my son’s cub’s session on Tuesday night. So I understand completely what you are all going through. Let’s us know what you decide and how things unfold at the end of the day.

  9. 12

    Suzanne said,

    oh yes surprise him!!

  10. 13

    Sarah Haydon said,

    Don’t give in! You will undo all your efforts. Like a toddler learning his boundaries all you will be teaching him is to hold out longer.

  11. 14

    3boys said,

    Oh how human you make me feel! I am loving the blogs & the cookbooks.

  12. 16

    Barbara Good said,

    Nooooooo, don’t go back!!!! After teaching a year 7 class with a collection of the MOST disorganised boys I’ve EVER come across in ten years of teaching, please let him learn this lesson thoroughly now. You’ll not regret it and neither will his teachers in the future! I can’t tell you how much of my time was wasted with requests (and even DEMANDS) from parents that I email home EVERY homework sheet, assignment criteria and progress reports, how many times I found myself looking through lost property for one of my students hats, jackets or jumpers or how many diary checks I had to do to make sure kids had written down the important announcements about room changes or free dress days or whatever. All because they had absolutely no concept of taking responsibility for their own things and had parents who constantly bailed them out.

    Okay, so perhaps there were a few too many capitals in the above, I didn’t mean to yell, really I didn’t. And I’m yet to really have this battle with my two and four year olds. Good luck this afternoon, he might have completely forgotten about how embarrassing it was by then…. maybe?

  13. 17

    Elly said,

    You are setting your boundaries. I was told it was dress like a pirate day which master 7 did only to arrive being the only one out of school uniform the teacher whom told us was so upset and was spoken to in such a tone by another teacher that was really sad anyhow good part I always put school uniform in bags and he packs his bag so good thing he packed it. The joys of parenthood. Responsibility needs to be learnt, hard knocks of life and if someone says something that does not seat well don’t buy the story say in your mind interesting point-of-view. Keep up the great work!

  14. 18

    Ange said,

    I believe you did absolutely the right thing. Learning by natural consequences is one of the best ways. If you keep nagging him to do something then it is a chore for him. If you leave him responsible (for minor things) and he forgets, the he learns by natural consequence that (in this case) he doesn’t get to wear a cool hat and has to wear his ‘daggy’ school hat. Next time I bet he will put it in his bag the night before 🙂

    I recently watched the 123 Magic DVD’s there are many valid (and ridiculously simple) thing that are mentioned that remind you of the obvious but also give you a great perspective as to why what you are doing is positive.

  15. 19

    Michelle said,

    Definitely firm, not unkind. He’ll thank you for it – one day. And it probably won’t be an actual thank you, more like being pleased with himself that he’s so on top of things and he might at the back of his mind think you were always on top of things and maybe he got it from you. OR perhaps even he’ll look back on this day and that hat and realise what a GREAT lesson you taught him and how awesome a mum you really are.
    Only time will tell! Another truth about most parenting… 🙂

  16. 20

    Deena Kakaya said,

    I didn’t know you that are writing a cookbook! Congratulations. When is out and who is it with? I will be sure to look out for it. Love If you could take a look at my recipes and let me know what you think xx

  17. 21

    Claire said,

    It’s a hat. In 24hrs he will have forgotten it, whether you took it or not. If it was something he really actually needed through the day yes, take it, but if it’s not necessary and he had another hat then let him wear the consequences of not being responsible. You are a good mum, don’t doubt that. Ever.

  18. 22

    Cassie said,

    I don’t know what you ended up doing in this situation, but as a school teacher I really hope that you didn’t take it to school. Your original thoughts of the ‘teaching him a lesson of responsibility’ is long lost with a lot of parents and therefore we end up with children that take no responsibility for anything (driving teachers crazy) and also parents who end up exhausted trying to do everything for their little ones, who then turn into big ones that wives have to do everything for! Kids need to learn young to be responsible and have strategies in which to do these things to instil independence, otherwise we will end up with a society that knows how to do nothing without someone holding their hand!

  19. 23

    Leah said,

    I’ve been away so only responding to this now but I’ve been where you were. Many times. I would have done the same thing. It’s hard but kids always learn as a result of these experiences. My opinion is if I bail our kids out of every teeny situation I’m not allowing them to learn how to become self-reliant adults.

  20. 24

    Krystal said,

    I know it’s hard not to give in at any stage and yes it would be lovely to make your child’s day but eventually they learn that if they hold out long enough mum will save the day. This was a lesson learnt in a safe environment. Good on you.


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