Thursday, October 29, 2009

Responsibility...and the lack thereof

Every morning in our home it's the same thing, getting my children ready for school, day after day, it goes something like this...

Me: Did you brush your teeth?

The Athlete: No

Me: Then go do it, when you are done with everything and you are ready for school, THEN you may play with the daycare kids.

Me: Did you take your asthma meds?

The Athlete: No, I just finished brushing my teeth, (said in a tone that is not so nice!)

Me: Go take your meds and finish getting ready. I should not have to tell you every morning what needs to be done before you start to play, (said in an exasperated kind of tone!)

And this goes on task after task and day after day.

The final straw was yesterday when we were all walking out the door. I had to drive them because we missed the bus, again!

Me: Athlete, you forgot you reading book for school, it's on the couch.

The Athlete: I didn't forget it!!!! I knew it was there and I was gonna grab it!!! (yelling)

Me: If I hadn't said anything to you, you would have walked right out that door and gone to school without your book.

The Athlete: You never believe I can remember to do anything!!! You don't think I am responsible!!!!!!!!!!

(UM, what was that? Did he really just say that I don't think he is responsible? He seriously really thinks that he deserves to be called responsible without proving that he is in fact a responsible person? Apparently so!)

Now don't get me wrong the athlete is in fact a very responsible kid when it comes to choosing right from wrong. He makes very responsible decisions with his peers and elsewhere. He helps his sister and is a safety freak. But I am talking about being responsible for your belongings, your daily tasks, and such. On that aspect, not so much.

So what's a "responsible" parent to do?? I'll tell you...

I calmly explained to the athlete that starting tomorrow I was no longer going to treat him like he was a child. I would give him the "responsibility" that he so desperately felt that he deserved, and get himself ready for school, without any intervening from me.

OK?

"OK" he agreed, extremely content with himself.

Proceed to this morning...

The athlete awakes bright and early, comes down fully dressed and proceeds to get himself his own breakfast. After breakfast he cleans up his mess, and heads right into the bathroom to brush his teeth. He passes me in the hall and I notice he has what could only be described as a very smug look on his face.

I ignore smug look and secretly think to myself that this is going better than expected and maybe I should have given him more credit, or at least a chance to prove that he can be more responsible at his age.

I continue to get lunches and backpacks packed and help the princess do her hair. When suddenly I hear a sound that is forbidden in the morning at our house unless everyone is completely ready for school. The athlete has started playing the Wii.

I quietly laugh to myself and wait for the repercussions from the coach who was well aware of the new policies starting that morning.

In less than 30 seconds flat the athlete was at my side, so angry he could spit.

Me: What's the matter? (with a smug smile on my face now)

The Athlete: Dad took the Wii away from me for a week!!!

Me: Why?

The Athlete: Because I turned it on and I wasn't ready for school. I forgot to take my asthma meds because you didn't tell me to!!!!!! That's no faiiiiiiiiir!!!

You gotta love it!!! Are ya kiddin' me??

Me: But it's not my job anymore to tell you what needs to be done in the morning. I'm giving you more responsibility, remember? And along with more responsibility comes more consequences for your actions. The sooner you learn that the better off you will be my friend!

The athlete stormed off and took his meds , finished getting ready for school and never said another word about it!

Apparently around here, if you ask a certain 9 year old boy, responsibility is supposed to be handed out without earning it, AND there should be exceptions to the rules!!

Yeah, I don't think so! Do you think he got the message?

2 comments:

  1. Hilarious and stressful all at the same time! I could imagine this conversation with my son in a few years. He's 5 now and we have similar discussions. Love that dad stepped in on the wii! Go dad!!

    I left you a blog award here: http://thesuburbanjungle.blogspot.com/2009/10/2-new-blog-awards.html

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