I had a discussion with a friend a few weeks back – well, we had lot of discussions on this particular topic – about preparing our kids to be out in the world on their own….not doing everything for them, holding them accountable, helping them become independent, capable human beings. I don’t know about you, but I had friends in college who didn’t do laundry until they went home and had mom do it. Out of one part of this particular discussion arose the fact I wake Big Man and Little Man up in the mornings for school, frequently requiring two or three trips into their rooms, and always requiring me to set my alarm fifteen minutes early so I’m fully awake and aware.
They both have alarm clocks in their rooms. Neither uses them. The Princess, being the over-achiever of the bunch, has been setting her alarm and getting up on her own the last two years (maybe longer if I really think about it). I told my friend, “They won’t get up. What happens if they don’t get up?” We’ve covered the fact before I’m something of a control freak. She said (not a direct quote), “They’ll suffer the natural consequences, and they’ll learn. Your life, in the end, will be easier, and they’ll be better for it. Stop hovering.” Oh lordy. I think I broke out in hives just thinking about it. That was a few weeks ago.
Last week, in the midst of prepping the boys’ rooms to be cleaned, I discovered why Big Man’s alarm clock wouldn’t work….Funny what happens when you actually plug something in. I plugged it in, set the clock, and set and turned on the alarm. When he got home from school, I told him what was going to happen the next morning. Guess what? He got up, on his own, when the alarm went off. I don’t think anyone was more surprised than I. The next morning, though, he did not get up. Nor did he the next morning. I -again, control freak – went in and woke him up. The third morning he failed to wake up to his alarm, I asked him. Then we had a lesson on actually turning your alarm ON every night. This week, he’s gotten up on his own, to the alarm, on time, every morning. Can I get an Amen???!!
I giggled out loud when he was telling Little Man he should start setting his alarm, and went about telling exactly how to do it. Instruction #3 or #4 was to turn your alarm ON every night. 😉 I have yet to make it so far in life to let Little Man take charge of getting up on his own in the morning, but hey, I’m working on it.