I’m sitting here typing on my laptop while my ten year old son is crying over his homework. This is not the sort of moment that gets immortalized in photos or regaled over Thanksgiving dinner. It is not a moment that makes me feel like a good mother, but it is exactly this sort of moment where I am one. My son is crying because the work he is doing is work that ought to have been done yesterday. Not only did he not do it yesterday, he implied to me that it was done. He didn’t outright lie, but through some verbal mumbling he managed to slide by without doing it. Then at school today he was not prepared and that was unpleasant. Then his teacher communicated with me and I had a talk with him about responsibility and paying attention in class. We talked about how all humans, me included, have a tendency to procrastinate and avoid work. We talked about how we have to curb that impulse in ourselves and learn to do the work anyway. We talked about carrots, sticks, and motivational plans. We decided on a point system and a reward structure. Then I declared that if any work is overdue, he is not allowed to play on a computer or video game until it is done. This last part was not news he wanted to hear. So now he is working and sniffling. I am watching, typing, and hoping that inside his head he is taking responsibility for his choices instead of ranting about how mean I am.
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