Letting your child fail is hardest and most important thing you can do
When I read this article about why it's important to let your children fail, it was a gentle, yet sobering reminder why it also applies to me and my son's success in the future. Bringing him a forgotten lunch or homework to school actually causes my child more harm and sets him up for failure. Wow. What a reality check that was.
Knowing that I'd be there to rescue him gave my son no incentive to actually remember to bring all of his homework to school. As hard as it was, I pulled back my trips to drop things off and let him suffer the consequences. I got notes from his teachers about his missing homework and forgotten books. It was also tough when he left behind his snacks and drinks for sports practices. All I could think about were his suffering grades, his thirst, and hunger. I felt like a horrible parent!
What I know now is that my child will fend for himself. He will not let himself go hungry or thirsty. On rare occasions there were no food options, he didn't hate or blame me. His talks with his teachers and visits to study hall for missing homework shame him enough to try to bring in all his school work the next day.
I could pack all his gear and school material for him, but I refuse to. Saving his behind has worse consequences and it wasn't worth it.
What will happen when he's off to college and I'm not there to help him out? What about when he's got a job and can't remember to bring his equipment to work or properly pack for a business trip? That was a scary realization.
It's been several weeks and the tough love has started to pay off. There are still days he'll miss homework, but there are also days he is reminding of things like writing a note to a teacher I promised I'd send.