One on One Time

As my kids get older, I am finding I can come up with more excuses for not having one on one time with my kids. They don’t “need” me as much, right? This week was a tough one with my 11 year old son. He has always had a tendency to forget things and get distracted. Well, now that he is in middle school there are a lot more things to remember. He got a detention on Monday for forgetting to bring his homework for 3 days in one week. I spent Mon and Tues berating him, asking him the”Why don’t you…” questions, saying, “Didn’t I tell you…”, arguing with him, and so on. It wasn’t helping and he got another detention for forgetting his gym stuff 3 times in a row.Finally I decided I was tired of being an enemy and our relationship was deteriorating rapidly. I thought of what we were doing if I was his coach. We got pro-active, working together as a team and asking what we could do to prevent these things from happening. We came up with a homework checklist of all the little things he had to remember like write down homework in log book, check over answers, put homework in binder, etc. After he is completely done with each part of his homework all the way to being in binder, he puts a checkmark there. Before he’d wander off in the middle of homework, forgetting he wasn’t done with it.

But, the most important thing that we did was to spend some time together. He stayed on track with his homework so we had some extra time to work on a 3-D puzzle. We laughed and talked. I didn’t show him how to do anything better or criticize, we just hung out together.

The next morning he woke up saying he felt so happy, but he didn’t know why. All day he acted like an angel. In the afternoon, after he had completed his homework in a timely manner, I took him and his sister on a fall scavenger hunt. After his little sister went to bed, we talked for a little bit. Just chatting.

He woke up with eyes shining this morning, of course that could just be because it is Halloween :), but I can see a change in him already.

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