Monday night, my son was struggling to get all of his homework done before bed. He had a 6 page packet of work from his advanced math class that he was supposed to have done over the weekend.
When I asked him why he hadn’t done it, he told me he forgot about it.
I wasn’t happy.
We’ve had a lot of conversations about responsibility and planning over the years. He knows better.
Cue Dad Lecture #26.
Towards the end, when I’m building up this rocking crescendo about how what he does now will affect him for the rest of his life, I stopped.
“Buddy, weren’t you sick on Friday?”
He didn’t get his weekend homework until Monday. Of course he didn’t do it over the weekend.
Dad Lecture #26 immediately transitioned to Ad Hoc Lecture #4, titled “Why did you let me chew you out for something you didn’t do?”
I’ve always tried to raise my kids to be independent. I’ve never stifled asking questions, and I am willing to explain my decisions to them, even if they don’t stand a chance of winning the appeal. As frustrating as independent, strong-willed children can be, I know it will serve them well as adults.
Now I’m trying to figure out why that fell apart on Monday. I wasn’t yelling at him and he doesn’t think I was. Sometimes, the perception of who’s yelling differs depending on which side of my loud voice you are on.
He doesn’t know why he sat back at took the lecture instead of explaining what happened. He apparently forgot that he was given that homework just a few hours before.
My question to all of you is how can I make my kid behave and obey when necessary, but still have enough backbone to stand up for himself when he’s not wrong? And know when each is necessary.