How Hard is Too Hard?
Today I turn to you for feedback, asking you how you parent in these types of situations. Today, our topic is: how hard is too hard to push our kids? Where is the line between too tough, and not tough enough? (Insert word coddling, as my husband put it this morning, accusing me of not being tough enough).
We just came off a wonderful weekend.
My 5 year-old got called up to play hockey with the 7 and 8 years olds. He was the smallest guy on the team, and despite dry-heaving in the garbage can before the game, he almost scored, and had a wonderful time. Here’s mini man (red 10).
So all in all, a successful and fun-filled weekend.
But this morning, during breakfast, all of sudden my 9 year old blurted out PANICKED- “I have a French oral this morning!!”
Okay, stay calm everyone.
Me: “And, when I asked you on Saturday if you had any homework, you said, ‘Oh mom, they don’t give homework on Hanukkah.’ “
Son: “Well I forgot about my oral. It’s today. I’m going to do terribly!”
I have never micro-managed this child. I’ve never had to- he does beautifully in school, and I don’t believe in breathing down his neck unnecessarily. With him, I always leave it up to him- if he doesn’t show up prepared, he pays the consequences.
But clearly, someone f’d up this morning. Whether it was me for not being more on top of him, or him for not remembering to review his oral, that is entirely up for debate. So what did mommy do right then and there? She ran for the knapsack, opened the oral, and phew, I remembered he had done all the work last week. He just needed to review it. So I started to help him review it over breakfast. Yes, I acted as his safety net, and helped spoon feed him the info. Real talk: I didn’t want him to fail his French oral.
My husband on the other hand, heard the commotion in the kitchen and came down to see what was going on.
Husband to son: “If you aren’t going to take your work seriously, I am going to bench you from hockey. You had an oral, you didn’t care to prepare. Mommy, I think he should have to suffer the consequences here.”
Son is visibly upset- leaves in carpool for school. So what do I do? I call the carpool mom with my son listening on speakerphone, and I remind him not to worry, to be calm, and that he knows his oral because he already prepared last week. The last minute little refresher we did this morning will help him, and he will do just great.
Husband accuses mom of “coddling” child, stating, “He has to learn that we can’t always be there to rescue him.”
I ask you, DOES THIS EVER HAPPEN IN YOUR FAMILY, and just HOW hard is TOO hard? How do we draw the line between helping our children thrive, and giving them a little extra push every now and then, and completely removing that safety net, allowing them to crash and burn?
Lord knows, I’m on the fence. And could use your advice this morning. Where’s my mother tribe?