Monday, February 2, 2009

Letting Your Kids Fail Without Failing As A Parent

My son, John, dropped his science project on the floor.  Days of planning and hard work scattered to the four corners of the kitchen.  He flew into a teary rage and Ruth used her second born sister charm to chide him into an even more comprehensive tizzy.

His pre-teen arms banged the table and the floor.  I went into a rage myself and advised him to adjust his attitude in no uncertain words.  His words back were much less kind in substance and tone as a son should be addressing his mother.  

The project was broken.  We were in an argument.  Everyone was tottering on being late to school.

Where is the bail out?  Do you drop everything and help him fix the project?  Do you let him flail like an animal in a fur trap and let him gnaw his way out?  Do you accept the raging behavior and be the grown up and help him out?  Do you turn your back on the unkind words and be the grown up and hold everyone accountable.

There are many times in life you drop your project on the floor.  The key is how you pick it up and move on.  Execution.


Morgan said...

Was he able to get it back together? Did you guys make it on time to school? I agree, things will fall and crumble- it's how pick ourselves up and move forward that counts during those times.

Anonymous said...

I'd walk away, go climb in bed and fall asleep.

Deb said...

Trust me, if I could get away with going back to bed, I would have done it!

He took it to school and used lots of glue, and it all worked out in the end. Just a rocky start and I always wonder as a mom how I could have handled it better.

Jennifer said...

Poor guy. My teens had a few moments like that an thankfully each one has made them stronger.
For me it was hard not to fix things, but I did not, nor did I try to talk with them when they were irrational.