Take Responsibility!

So very sorry I’ve been off the grid for a while my fellow Stumbleparents!  Life has been changing and moving… kind of like trying to change a tire on a vehicle WHILE it’s in motion.


I’ve finished school, the hubs has finished up with the military, and we’ve moved at least twice!  My wild child, (the one most of my blog posts are about) has endured all of these changes as you would expect a challenging child to.

We are no strangers to temper tantrums, big feelings, fits of sass and disrespectful lip.  But she’s taking it like a champ most days (that’s my girl).  I’ve been reading a new book called, Loving Our Kids On Purpose by Danny Silk, and let me tell you, IT’S THE BEST ONE I’VE READ SO FAR! (More on that later, you can get it on Amazon whenever you want.)

So, back to the title of this post.  About half way through her second grade year, we were in transition and I didn’t feel like putting my baby girl, my wild child through the initiation of another second grade teacher and the heartbreak of another classroom full of kids.

I had decided to try out K-12, the online public school/home school thing.  I thought, “she’s pretty smart, she can click her way through the second half of second grade.”

It turns out… it was a LOT more work for me than I had anticipated.  Some of you are familiar with the “homework struggle” and let me tell you the struggle is real people.  It was like pulling a shaved donkey up Mount Everest to get through the school day!

There was yelling, crying, bargaining, anger, fits and downright refusal.  From both of us.  It was in effect, ruining our relationship.

We finally got through it.  The lesson here was that, school is important, but not more important than my sanity.

We moved to our new home over the summer.  New state, new city, new school, new life.  Little Miss Wonder Pants started the third grade in the fall.  Met the teacher, let her know the struggle we had during the latter half of second grade and why, she nods.  Game on.

First round of homework comes home.  Husband starts the painful, same old routine of interrogating and nagging about it.

Like a ninja born of the Matrix, I calmly lifted my hand to silence him.  Our daughter stood there, ready to fight.

I addressed her lovingly, “Darling, your homework is your responsibility.  Daddy and I are not going to bother you about it, and you can chose to get it done, or to not.  Do you know what will happen if you don’t do your homework?”

She responds, “I get in trouble?”

I smile, “no, not really.”

Her eyes pop out of her head in disbelief, mouth agape. The spouse looks the same.

With a calm, collected smile I inform her that the purpose of homework is to make sure and solidify the concepts learned that day in school, and to practice and really get them into your head.  I go on to explain that if she doesn’t do her homework, her grades will decline, along with her test scores.  I asked her, “do you know what happens if you get bad grades?”

She’s all ears now.

I get eye level, and never stop smiling, “you get to go to the third grade again.”

My husband is visibly uncomfortable with this concept, our daughter launches into an all out rant about how “no-the-heck-way” is she going to sit in a class room with a bunch of second graders while all of her friends go on to the fourth grade…. etcetera.

I smile, and walk away, like an actor in an action movie right after the explosion.

Ladies and gentlemen, the moment you’ve been waiting for… YES, BUT DID IT WORK????

I waited so long to tell you all, because I wanted to make sure… but guys… my baby girl is on the HONOR ROLL!!!!!

Now, I have inquired from time to time if she’s completed her homework, but I always left the choice up to her simply by reminding her, “well, it’s your choice to do it, but you know what could happen if you don’t.”  I have also helped her with her homework when she has requested it.  I have caught her unfinished homework falling out of her bag… but it all boils down to the fact that her own fate is in her own hands.

I love this whole, take responsibility thing.  LOVE IT!  Some have asked me, if it came down to it, would I stay true to my word and let her fail.

You bet your a## I would.  Better the third grade than high school dropout, or college burn out.

It is a little unnerving to think that our children don’t need us for every little thing… but it is actually liberating to know that it’s easier to teach them how to make better decisions for themselves, then for us to take full responsibility for everything that happens to them.

Stumble on parents!


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