I was sitting with a bunch of moms the other day and we were chatting about our days. One exasperated mom was saying how she had no sooner got home from fighting her way through horrendous traffic on the way to drop her kids off, AND back home again, when her child phoned and said they had left their tennis racket at school, could she bring it for them? So what did she do…? She suited up ready to do battle with the traffic again, hopped back in the car with the racket and delivered it promptly for her child.
It was at that point that I dropped my “bad mom bomb” and said “I would never have taken it.”
For some reason, being in the field I am, people often think I am the ‘perfect mom’. So a statement like that raises all the eyebrows and causes dropped jaws. “You what?!”
But I remember a wise parenting coach once told me that “a child who always forgets has a parent who always remembers”… and that quote has stuck with me for good. She asked me, “Do you want children who are responsible for themselves and their ‘stuff’, or do you want to be reminding them FOREVER?”… forever…forever… forever… Her last word seemed to echo in my head in that hollow, despairing way. I was pretty sure the music from Psycho was about to accompany it, followed by my terrified “AAAARRRGH!”
No, I absolutely do not want to be reminding my kids FOREVER…forever…forever… (There it is again, did you hear it?!)
And so, as hard a lesson as it was for me, and an even harder and more heart-breaking one for me to teach, it was one I take with great seriousness. I have even let my son walk out the door for school, TWO days in a row, knowing his lunch was sitting on the kitchen counter. I felt sick to my stomach those two days… but I have NEVER had to remind him again. Even my ‘loskop’ kid – who would forget his own head if it wasn’t screwed on – never forgets his lunch. And so, now it is one less thing I have to think about every day, and one less ‘nag’ my kids have to hear.
Don’t you want to raise independent kids who can think for themselves, remember their own stuff, look after themselves?
Then my advice to you is to remember this one thing FOREVER… forever… forever… A child who always forgets, has a parent who always remembers! 🙂