Responsibility In Sixth Grade

It’s so hard to teach an 11-year-old how to be responsible for themselves and their belongings. You believe that you have been doing that all along in your journey of raising them but somewhere along that journey the message has either been lost or mis-communicated. Now they are in 6th grade with 6 different classes and can’t remember to ask for the assignment they are missing or tell the teacher they will be missing their class for a doctor’s appointment and get any assignments from that day. They don’t turn in homework without a being asked for it and I’m pretty sure I’ve only washed his PE clothes twice this year and once was because the were covered in blood and he was made to bring them home. Yep, that’s gross.

Sixth grade is a big change for many kids and I’m sure that many kids have gotten at least a portion of the responsibility part down. It’s a time when they really need to start learning it and picking up on ques from teachers and from other students. I have been helping Levi this year a lot. The transition from moving and then beginning a new school was hard on him. He is still playing that card and it’s hard to say that he can’t use it. I feel that way too. Because I know how hard it is, I do more talking with him and reminding him when assignments are do or when he needs to talk to a teacher. Constant reminding. I write notes to help remind him and emails to ask his teachers for work in case the notes fail. They usually always do. Fail…

He is not learning responsibility. He is learning how responsible mom is. I know that it has been so hard to move and start over but I think it’s time to implement some Love and Logic. If you haven’t heard of it and/or heard me talk about it, you should look into it. It’s a book called “Parenting With Love and Logic” By Foster Cline and Jim Fay. (To Buy it and/or just check it out click here →  Love and Logic ) I basically need to tell him once, remind him of the consequences (natural or not) and let it happen how it happens. He is old enough to understand and certainly old enough to be responsible enough for his own homework and school work.

I know I should have implemented this sooner. With our move and the transition, I haven’t wanted to. I have been having a hard time with it myself so I know how hard he has it. A boy going through puberty, already growing a mustache, having to make all new friends in a new place that is completely different from where we had lived. I am still apprehensive to it. I really don’t want to do it because I am not yet comfortable here, so how could he be? But, unless I want to see MSG on the school website forever, or continue fixing that myself, I need to help him. Not by emailing the teachers to ask for the work either. Telling Levi once and if it doesn’t get done, he lives with his grades and the possibility of repeating a grade. Seeing the school counselor himself to talk about what to do next and possible tutoring…after school. They call that Natural Consequences.

That would make me feel bad but I could bet money, it wouldn’t take much to get him to get on top of things himself. He hates giving up any more of his free time that he has to for school work. Or he won’t care at all because sometimes that’s Levi. Either way, I’m not helping him right now and I know that.

Parenting is tough. If I remember correctly, being a sixth grader is tough too. If he can learn a smidge of responsibility, I bet he can make my parenting and sixth grade easier for him!

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