“Parenting Today” is the www.Picturebookparenting.com response to articles floating around the Internet that may have an impact on your parenting. This is a chance for us all to think about how the thousands of parenting ideas from this site over the years actually apply to real situations.
Today’s post is inspired by an article published in The Washington Post (Moriah Balingit) on August 19, 2016. It is a story about Catholic High School for Boys in Little Rock, Arkansas. The principal of this school has a strict policy. He does not allow parents (or others) to drop off items that the students have forgotten. No lunches, sporting equipment, homework, permissions, etc.
I agree with this policy. I would call it a “be-responsible” policy.
Six reasons why a “be-responsible” policy for high school students works.
- The teen years should be a time when children learn to be more and more independent, so they can become confident, capable adults. The only way to learn anything is to practice. Teenagers need to practice being responsible for knowing and remembering the things they need.
- One form of overindulgence is doing for kids what they are capable of doing for themselves. When parents do too much for their kids, the kids become more and more helpless. In the long run, they become unhappy adults who are not confident that they can take care of themselves and get their needs met.
- When parents “save” their children from the consequences of their forgetfulness, children become dependent upon their parents in a sticky, marshmallow sort of way. Children become “stuck” to their parents and not able to do things on their own..
- Children who do not have to pay the consequences for their actions end up feeling the world owes them a good and easy life. They expect others to take care of them, and are angry or depressed when they don’t.
- Often, our expectations of children are too low. However, if we expect them to be responsible, the often will rise to the occasion and surprise us at how well they can do. Children are great problem solvers, if they are allowed to struggle through a situation to find a solution. They are able to solve problems – if they are allowed to and are not helped too often and too quickly.
- Parents and teachers telling a child to be responsible and to remember his things doesn’t work. Life lessons, however, are powerful. If a child has to eat what he can borrow or purchase at school instead of his favorite lunch he forgot at home, he will remember his lunch the next day. If a child can’t play his sport one day because he doesn’t have his equipment, he will remember it the next time. Those are life lessons.
What do you think? Do you agree or disagree? Please use our comment section to let us know your thoughts.
For learning more about your children and yourself as a parent:
SELF-ESTEEM A FAMILY AFFAIR, Jean Illsley Clarke
GROWING UP AGAIN: PARENTING OURSELVES, PARENTING OUR CHILDREN, Jean Illsley Clarke and Connie Dawson