Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Sink or swim

The ginormous binder my 9 year old has to lug to school each day.

This is it.

No, not my half-marathon post. That'll be coming.

This is the year that I finally let SkyWalker sink or swim. He is so very very smart but so very very lazy. He has made it this far because I have nagged him to get his work done on time and I have pretty much held his hand each year. I don't do it for him because I'm not that bad. But this year he has to be responsible for himself. He has a giant binder and sees all three teachers and it's kind of like middle school in 4th grade. So he has so much more work to do. I have tried to teach him not to wait until the last minute, not to put off his work just because it's not due yet because he doesn't know how much more he will get by the time it is due. I've tried to teach him to take pride in his work and do a good job. 

But I've got to stop holding his hand. I've got to stop checking his homework to make sure he hasn't made stupid mistakes because of rushing to get it done so he can play minecraft. I've got to stop micromanaging and telling him what to get done. I've got to let him be in control. Even if it means his grades suffer and he doesn't live up to his potential. He has to learn to swim or he will sink. And I will have to let him.

He just turned 9 years old. I look at him and see him at 9 months old. But I need to look at him and see him at 19. Confident, indepedent, hard-working people don't wake up that way. They are made that way. I knew when he was first born that if I wanted him to sleep on his own I couldn't feed him, or rock him, or let him sleep in my bed. I had to teach him as a baby to do it by himself. The same is true now. If I want him to work hard and be successful, he's going to have to learn how. He's going to have to learn failure as well as success. I'm not doing him any favors by shielding him from that failure now.

So this is it. This is when I step back so that he may step forward. All I can do is hope that he actually does.

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