January 30, 2012 3 Comments
So the other night, it’s late and buddy-child is typing up assignment # 2 of 3 assignments due the next day. These are assignments for one class that she had fallen behind in and wasn’t doing too well with (hard to imagine how those two things could go hand in hand). Consequences for skipping combined with homework supervision and emailing with the teacher still weren’t enough to get this young person to get on it and get these things done. Some serious school intervention (thank you school people) was needed to start to get things back on track. At this rate, it’s expected that she will finish all 3 assignments and yes, she may be up half the night doing it. Sucks but that was her choice at this point.
There are times when I wonder if I’m doing the right thing by letting the kids get into messes like this but really, if they don’t ever make mistakes, how will they ever learn? I started warning her last week but you know how it is when you have all these social plans and people to see and things to do! She was left to figure out how to manage her time in such a way that would allow her to get this done. The only thing I did was make sure to limit how much time I was willing to drive her around to see friends and such. Good thing really because I can’t imagine how far behind things would be right now if I hadn’t.
It’s important to point out that this won’t work unless I’m following up with the school and confirming that she actually finished the assignments. If I don’t, what motivation does she have to finish? Why should she care if no one else is going to? And if she doesn’t finish, I need to be prepared to look at what consequences are appropriate for that. Although in this case, a really nice prom dress and graduating with your friends is a pretty good motivator and pretty stiff consequence all rolled into one.
So the late night and the feeling like crying because you wish it was done and the potential to do a crappy job just to finish is all the result of buddy’s choices and lack of time management. Yes I know the frontal lobe is still something that is in development but how is it going to develop if you don’t start learning.
Does that mean buddy-child will magically not wait until the last minute to get her next assignment done? Probably not. She is, after all, still a teenager and let’s face it, planning is not the strong point of anyone under the age of 20. But, it will help in the long run. I think.