A Tale of Responsibility

My 9  year old forgot his homework this morning and my wife and I differed on what to do about it.  I suggested he live with the consequence.  My wife wanted me to drop it off since she was running out the door to work.

My argument was that unless he feels what it’s like to forget his homework when the teacher asks for it, he won’t learn. Harsh, I know. My reasoning for that harshness is that he’s old enough to deal with those consequences now and you’re never too young to start learning about personal responsibility.

My wife’s argument was that he’s a sensitive kid…and she’s right, he is…that feeling I wanted him to feel would be devastating.

Given this impossible to break deadlock, I did what any rational father would do.

I asked Twitter:


I learned something.

The answer to this question, as are most, was “it depends”.  The prize for being the voice of reason goes to Don Gray.

This is the first time I remember him forgetting something, which got me thinking about this morning’s hurricane of activity led us to this point. I woke up later than usual, my wife had an early morning class and last night we failed to finish the second page of some school paperwork which was causing us to scramble a bit.

He had his homework in his hand, but put it down on the couch before getting ready to head out the door and none of us noticed.

So I brought the homework to school. What’s next? A little chat after school where I’ll get the whole family together to talk about what we could do to avoid this situation next time.

I know what I would do, but responsibility doesn’t happen by telling someone how to be responsible, it happens through self-discovery. My job is simply to ask the right questions.