I really wanted to be the “tough love” mom and not bring my son’s PE uniform to him at school.
It’s his responsibility to pack everything he needs.
But the reason he didn’t have his PE uniform? The night before, I had asked him for his PE shirts to wash and I’d fallen asleep before switching the clothes over to the dryer, resulting in clothes that didn’t dry in time for school.
It was more my fault than his, so I took it in for him after the clothes dried.
And before this, there had only been one other time this school year when I’d had to bring him something.
Some might argue that once was enough or that nothing should ever be brought to school for our kids if they forget… but I sometimes get texts from my husband who needs me to bring him something he forgot to take to work… and I’ve walked out of the house without something important myself- and I have the option of heading back to the house to pick up what I need.
I just can’t see it as a cut and dried rule.
If it’s something my child can well do without (like leaving a snack), then they’re going to be out of luck. But leaving a lunch on a day when the items on the school menu are things that child can’t eat (allergies or sensitivities, not just preference) would mean I’d take that lunch.
I go back and forth on if they’d leave an assignment, especially something they’d get points taken off of for turning in the next day. This is where I lean towards NOT taking it in, since those points off would help them see there is a consequence to not being organized.
But if it really is the first time, well, it hasn’t become annoying yet and I might give in.
A child’s age plays into this, as well, with older kids getting cut less slack.
Then again, no matter what they’ve left, if I’m not around that day, they’re out of luck. A friend shared that there’s no way she’d be able to leave work to go take something to one of her kids, so they’re always out of luck if they forget something- and many parents are in that same boat. I have a little more flexibility in my work from home schedule, but it doesn’t mean that I should be running things over to the school on a regular basis, either.
Over on my facebook page, someone suggested giving each kid one freebie and then after that, they’re on their own. Another suggested that a couple of times a year is fine but that after that, 15 minutes of extra cleaning/chores is now owed. I like the idea of that and think it could be equivalent to whatever amount of time I lost in bringing them their things.
I never want to be the parent whose kids are so frequently leaving things at school that I’m immediately asked “What did he forget NOW?” when I walk into the school. But I can’t completely say that I’ll never bring anything in, either.
I’m finding that with parenting, as soon as I say “I would never,” a situation will come up that will prove me wrong. So, it’s good to think about what you’d do ahead of time (and having something like that “you now owe me X minutes of cleaning” up your sleeve), but it’s also good to weigh each situation and make a decision based on what’s actually happening, not some theoretical situation.