Raising kids is hard. Raising a pre-teen boy makes me want to pull my hair out most of the time. I am new to this adventure of pre-teens — it is complete with mood swings, BO, and preferring a smart phone over a conversation.
Pre-teens think that they are old enough to make their own decisions but struggle with asking for help when needed. We like to encourage smart decision-making, and our son is responsible for his schedule. So if he wants to go to an after school activity, he needs to make sure he asks permission, arranges transportation and reminds said parent that is transporting him to pick him up the day of. Now you may think this is a lot for an 11-year-old to handle, but we have discovered that the more invested our son is in HIS schedule/life the more likely he will fully think and process before agreeing to an activity.
We also have weekly, monthly and as-needed chores around our house. You see that wonderful smart phone you love so much … well it doesn’t come free! We all contribute to our household running smoothly – Mom, Dad, Preteen and Kindergartener. Our responsibilities vary, but most weekends you can find us working on some sort of household project (ESPECIALLY since the flood in August as we are still recovering). I think this shows my kids what it takes to run a household. Micah knows how to do basic household tasks. I want him to grow into a man who knows how to take care of himself.
Our son wakes up every morning on his own with an alarm clock. Gone are the days of getting him dressed asleep (yes, I did this … he has always loved to sleep) and putting him in the car to head to school. He wakes up every day at 5:45am to get dressed, brush his teeth and get ready for school. He will have to do it soon anyway – now seems like a good time!
I find that teaching my son to be responsible for himself at a young age shows him that regardless of what the world throws at you – YOU are responsible for your actions.
There are a lot of things that I hope my child learns from me and my husband, and responsibility is one of them. I also hope and pray that I raise loving kids who grow into loving and accepting adults, and I think responsibility is one step towards our goal. Our kids will be grown-ups sooner than we would like; let’s do our part to help equip them to be the best that they can be!