So many kids, I don't know what to do.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The One Where I Rant

Here is an email I got recently from Tanner's school. 

Mini-Fundraiser-iPod Friday!
Tired of lengthy, expensive fundraisers! Boy, have we got good news for you!  In lieu of a one large, involved, expensive school-wide fundraiser, the Administration has decided to have “mini-fundraisers” throughout the year. The mini-fundraisers will allow the students to “buy-in” to an activity or special event. For example, this Friday will be iPod Friday. For $3.00, students can rock-out to their favorite tunes during passing periods, lunch, and even in class if their teacher allows it!

Remember to send $3.00 with your child so he/she can participate in the fun this Friday! Wristbands will be sold during all lunches this week!

(I highlight and "bigged" that sentence myself.)

Fine there is a fundraiser.  I understand the point.  BUT

Why do I have to remember to send three dollars with my child?   My child earns allowance (most weeks).  If he wants to bring his i-pod (which he will lose) to school then HE should remember to dig the three bucks out of his wallet (if he can find it) and participate.
This is how kids are enabled to never grow up.  We hover over them and help them.  I quit.  If Tanner forgets this activity then he will not get to bring his i-pod.  He will be disappointed. 

Guess what?  (Chicken butt.  Kidding.)  It is better for him to forget his money and be disappointed now about i-pod (give us your money) day than it is for him to be disappointed as an adult because he "forgot" to pick up his kid at day care and CPS took her away.

This is the same philosophy which allows me to sit idly by while one of my kids gets a zero for work he did and left at home.  Again.  NOW is the time to learn that lesson.  Not when he is a surgeon and forgets to bring a scalpel to work.  (The thought of Tanner doing surgery gives me nightmares.)

I will be the first to admit.  I sometimes forget and let myself get all worked up trying to find a way to acquire some item a kid didn't tell me he needed until the last minute.  BUT I really TRY not to do this.

I love my kids, but sometimes failing is the only way to learn.

When are WE going to learn as parents and teachers that disappointment is ok?  When will we remember to stop hovering?  When we will remember their lives are not going to be all bubbles and rainbows? 
They won't all make the team.
Everyone can't always make an A.
Sometimes doing what you want means you will get into trouble.

Ok. I am done ranting now.  I am going to go eat cookies.
Come back tomorrow for more regularly scheduled stupidity.
BUT before you go, do you have any "mean" parenting tips I could use as my own?


  1. I love my kids, but sometimes failing is the only way to learn.

    I couldn't agree more with that sentence!!

  2. I read a book years ago...when I thought I should read parenting books...that said you should let your kids suffer the consequences as youngsters...forgetting homework, library books etc...when the consequences are still that when they are older, they will not have to face the huge ones.
    I have always rememberted that...especially when I 'm driving the library book that they left at home to the school. Yikes! (Not often, though)
    You are right!

  3. Consequences are the best teachers. When my now teen son kept forgetting his music for his piano lesson and then after a long lecture left it at the teachers house, he had to bike 20+ miles to get it. I followed in my car with blinking lights on. He was eleven. OK, he is still forgetful but now he loves biking. At least he learned something.

  4. What about the kids who don't have ipods or $3.00? They're going to feel totally uncool!

  5. I wholeheartedly agree with you!
    I have on occasion "forgotten" my child's field trip form on the kitchen counter, even if I'm going to the school anyway, in an effort to teach them a lesson about responsibility*. I figure if I did the work to fill it out, they can at least remember to put it in their backpack.
    *It wasn't due for a day or two, so it really wasn't THAT mean, but it did make them sweat!
    Thanks for stopping by to visit me! I love meeting new people!

  6. You make a great point. I need to improve on this.

  7. That is a great point. My mom used to always be bringing stuff to my younger brothers at school and now that they're mostly grown they are still completely irresponsible. We only live 2 blocks from my kids' school so I've been known to run the occasional forgotten library book over but not any more.

  8. I was thinking the same thing blueviolet was...what about the kids who don't have that stuff? I like your style! :)

  9. that is the WEIRDEST fundraiser ever.

  10. Yay! I love that you are not enabling your kids. They need to experience failure, they need to hear the word no, and they need to know that "fair" does not mean "equal." And guess what? Home is the best, most safe environment in which to learn these lessons. Home, where your parents love you and want what's best for you. Home, where the consequences are things like doing without, going to bed early, or having your allowance docked ... instead of things like being arrested, getting thrown in jail, or worse.

  11. Okay - so am I the only person who also thinks that it STINKS that the school is doing fundraisers on the backs of the kids while trying to guilt-trip the parents into participating?

    (Says the girl who gets hit up 50 times a schoolyear for various fundraisers and dreads Itty Bit playing sports for this reason alone).

    I thoroughly agree with you about letting kids experience the consequence of their actions (non-actions). Way to go Mom!


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