My son, Cory (11), called me all verklempt the other morning on his 1st day back to school after winter break. He couldn’t find his soccer cleats and shin guards.
The team had an “away” game and they would be leaving school at 2:45PM to drive by school bus to the game. “Could I search high and low and bring the stuff he needed up to school ASAP???”
I didn’t correspond with him again after that morning call. I didn’t bring his stuff. I didn’t even look for it.
Cory had promised the night before school was back in session that everything was cleaned out (room, locker, backpack), good to go in the morning & ready to start a fresh semester.
Then he calls me scrambling in the AM. I had a pIt in my stomach anytime the thought of his little shin-guard and cleat-less self at the game entered my brain. ALL. DAY. LONG.
As moms, we don’t want our little people to suffer AND that’s when they get to learn from their greatest teacher...natural consequences.
I called him at 3pm. He was on the bus. He was happy. He said he thought his stuff was in his locker at school but he remembered it was in his sport’s bag at home. He borrowed stuff from another player that wasn’t playing in today’s game.
He figured it out. But this is not the big win.
The win is that I resisted swooping in to save the day and then feeling resentful. When I fix my kids’ screw ups, I usually find myself in lecture mode giving them the big coulda/shoulda/woulda lesson.
NEWSFLASH: These lessons are totally unproductive and really piss off our kids rather than teaching the important life lessons we want them to know.
I gave him the space to freak out AND figure it out. I didn’t solve the problem or add to his stress by browbeating him about being human and making a mistake. To do so would have been hypocritical. Ask my husband – he will happily tell you about all the mistakes I make on the daily.
Not fixing is a hard thing to do as a mom. Yay me❤
ABOUT RANDI RUBENSTEIN
Randi helps parents, particularly ones with a strong willed kiddo, learn tools to raise confident, kind, and self motivated kids by improving the conversations in your family.
As the founder of Mastermind Parenting, host of the Mastermind Parenting podcast and author of The Parent Gap, Randi helps parents keep cool and replace old patterns. Randi’s parenting motto is, “When our thoughts grow, the convos in our home flow".
To learn more go to www.randirubenstein.com