I forgot my hat!!
Kylie West - Friday, January 15, 2016
Scenario: Pull up to school drop off only to hear "Muuuum, I forgot my hat!" =(
Do you curse, dutifully go home, retrieve the forgotten hat and return it to forgetful child? Do you do this because in that second of angst over a forgotten hat you see visions of your child sitting alone in the shade, sad, with no friends? Feelings of 'My child will hate me if I don't go and get the hat'?
Sometimes as parents, we feel too much for our children. We know that awful feeling of forgetting something and how it might inconvenience our day and we don't seem to want our kids to feel like that.
BUT, what if you don't go home and get the hat? What if your child does walk into school feeling sad that you wouldn't 'help' them? What if they do sit in the shade at play time? Are these really 'worst case scenario's', or are they resilience building moments?
By the time you drive away, full of guilt that your child doesn't have their hat and you don't have time to go home and pick it up, your child has joined their friends, started playing handball and forgotten all about the hat...until play time when they have to sit in the shade, with other children who have forgotten their hats, or who have chosen to play in the shade. Maybe your child might play with someone different in the shade as all their friends are in the sun with hats on, potentially making a new friend. What if they go to the library, or choose to help the teacher out in class because they can't be in the sun without a hat? These are new experiences your child might enjoy. And when you pick your child up from school, are they still holding a grudge or feelings of hatred towards you because you didn't get their hat? Of course not! They probably had a great day, and forgot all about the hat (meanwhile, you have fretted over it all day, burning unnecessary energy).
A forgotten hat is not the end of the world for you or your child. How you react to the situation is what will make it stressful, or a learning experience. If you have a child who is constantly forgetting their hat (or water bottle, or homework...) help them by putting in place a strategy such as a note on the door on the way out, or on their seat in the car, or of course, use My Chart Visual Cards. These strategies will help your child become more responsible and independent, because really, its not YOUR hat, it's their's, so why waste YOUR time stressing about it?
Now, where did I put those car keys?? ...
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