Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Natural Consequences

Six of the kids I have at home are ages 13 to almost 17. They have a "bedtime" that I don't enforce. At 10:00 p.m. they have to turn off things electronic and the middle schoolers are supposed to go to their rooms. The high schoolers can be other places in the house as long as family electronic devices (computers, TVs, Wii, Playstation, etc.) are off by 10.

SInce I get up at 5 most mornings now, I don't stay up to make sure they go to bed. And I really don't care if they do. BUT I have told them that if they are mature and responsible enough to determine their own bedtime, they are mature and reponsible enough to be responsible for getting themselves up and ready by the time it is time to leave.

Now, before you think that I am REALLY mean, understand that one of the things they can do is to ask me to wake them up. They can say "Mom, I want you to wake me up every morning." Or, they can ask me the night before. Five of the six children have chosen to get themselves up in the morning. They understand that the ride to school leaves at 7:30 and if they are not ready, they will get left....

Every morning I wonder if they will get up or not. So far, they have -- later than I would have awakened them, but they have gotten up and made it to the van by 7:30.

This morning, it just might not happen. I think I hear the girls, but the 3 boys in the basement I haven't heard a peep from and we leave in 18 minutes. One of them has to shower.

So we'll see how it goes. I'm heading to Dunn Brothers to have breakfast with Kari and get work done as soon as I drop everyone off, so if they aren't ready, I guess they have bikes. And again, in case I'm being observed as the wicked witch of the midwest, the school is less than two miles and many of the kids their age who live farther away from us ride their bikes every day. In the snow... Uphill ... both ways. Oops, wrong story.

Getting yourself up in the morning is a life skill. I figure my kids can learn it now, when the consequences are less severe (have to ride your bike to school) than later when it might mean failing your morning class in college or getting fired from a job.

Well, it's 7:25 and it looks like everyone might make it but Jimmy. And he'll learn...


Angela :-) said...

If you're the wicked witch of the midwest, then I'm your younger sister. :-) I agree with all of this, except the high school is 3 blocks from our house, so I don't offer a ride.

Angela :-)

Amy said...

I say good for you :)

Amanda said...

I love your attitude about bed. My dad always said if you make a child get up in the morning, then they will get themselves to bed early. I cannot ever remember sleeping past 8am. I also cannot remember intentionally staying up past midnight. It works:)

Being able to wake up and get yourself going IS a lifeskill. I have a younger brother who could never get up for work. Although once he got there he was a great employee. So he got a job working on the boat. He only had to be on time once every 30 days (lol..since he lived on the boat 30 days on and was off 30). But still, he made it fit:)