Tuesday, January 22, 2008

A One-Question Quiz on Parenting Guilt and Responsibility

You are supposed to be where you are supposed to be at 8:30, which means leaving at 7:30. However, your significant other has to leave at 7, so you have to take younger child to school, which means leaving for where you are supposed to be at 8:15. At 7:45, older child calls and says she needs her Latin book and folder, and she has already forgotten them once, and if she forgets them again her teacher will be mad and she will get a 0, and you have to bring them to her after you take younger child to school. Older child's school is ten minutes in the opposite direction from where you are supposed to be.

Do you:

a) Bring her the book and folder, because the most important thing is your child's education and happiness.

b) Tell her she's the one who forgot the book and folder, so she needs to deal with the consequences, because she needs to learn a lesson.

c) Tell her you will write a note to the teacher, because your work is more important than her grades.

d) Berate and lambaste her but bring her the book and folder anyway, because you operate on no principles except getting through the morning.

e) Other.

8 comments:

jackie said...

The teacher in me says make her deal with the consequences, but the parent in me says get through the morning :).

Dawn said...

B with a big, giant helping of guilt that would gnaw at me until I was defensive and snappish and would have to call my own mother to tell me I'm doing the right thing.

Jenny Davidson said...

b/c hybrid--basically b only not so strong on the lesson-learning, more on commiseration-but-need-to-suck-it-up! Definitely not take it to school, that is above and beyond! Medical necessities only...

Jane said...

B. With both lesson learning and commiseration. Then steel yourself...

Libby said...

Honestly? Probably D, though both B and C would get some play as well. Sigh.

Libby said...

Then again, I don't *have* to be anywhere in the sense of appointments and wages and such right now. If I did, B/C for sure.

postacademic said...

Becca? Can you respond to the heath ledger news b/c I'm not sure I can...

Kelly said...

B...but I try really hard to do it without the "has to learn the lesson" part. The minute I say that? The lesson is lost.

I've done it with Ty a million times (he gets his poor organizational skills from his mother). I try to say something like, Gee...I wish I could help you out, but then I'll be late for ___ and will have to deal with the consequences of that. Sorry.

and sometimes I'd throw in a "maybe we can put our heads together and figure out a way to help you remember for tomorrow."

sure, I've blown a gasket a few times too...but that's just been awful. I'll focus on the times I did well...

Recently he thanked me for it, said he's much better at remembering things now.