Two little things have annoyed me recently. See what you think:
The other day I had plans for what to make for dinner, but I was gardening, Rick was working out, and the boys were playing, so it got late on us and I hadn’t started dinner when the boys got hungry. But instead of asking me if I had supper-making plans, they helped themselves to white bread and Nutella. So basically they had sugar sandwiches for dinner. I wasn’t happy, because I had gone through the trouble of stopping at the grocery store after work, and I had a plan for what needed to be eaten before it went bad. Plus I wanted them to get nutrition from our meal. And I like us to sit down to eat together. So I made each of the boys peel carrots, and asked them to eat some. As they peeled, they munched on the carrots and also nibbled on dinner with the family later. Everyone ended up happy. Hopefully next time they won’t raid the kitchen for snacks without checking with me first. I try not to be a kitchen Nazi, but it’s hard when your plans get thrown out the window.
Every day when I ask Roman, “Do you have homework?” he says, “No.” But the other day we got an e-mail from his teacher saying that only a few kids had turned in a writing assignment she had given them. Apparently you can’t trust fourth-graders to do what they’re supposed to do without teacher or parental prodding. Roman was not one of the kids who had turned in his assignment, so we made him do it. He was supposed to interview a person over age 50 about technology and then write a report on it. He asked Rick if he could interview him, but Rick said, “I’m not over 50.” Roman said, “Oh. You know.” A little later he said, “The teacher really shouldn’t do this when we only have a week of school left.” Boy, that was the wrong thing to say to his teacher father! He got the lecture, the one about working hard and doing your best until it’s actually time to play.
So how often do your kids do what they’re supposed to do without being told? At what age do they become independent enough that we don’t have to manage them so much? Does it ever happen before they’re grown?