I guess there are no triathlons in our immediate future. See, I was really, really hoping the change to the new school would help. But things weren't adding up. Despite all his assurance there were no problems at school and despite the lack of any communication from the school, my mommy-gut has been reminding me that things aren't always what they seem.
There have been too many late buses, missed the bus and had to take the city trolley excuses and things like that. And showing up 2 1/2 hours late Monday with these excuses clinched it. Because I remembered that Monday afternoons are detention at his school. So I called the school to see how he's really doing. Sure enough, there have been several detentions. Some of been done at lunch because "my parents said I can't do after school detention." But the detention slips never made it home. Neither did the note about being kicked off the bus. His teacher was bringing him home because "I can't reach my parents." Uh, no. Your parents would tell you that a bus has been provided and if you can't follow the rules you will walk or take the city bus.
The rudeness and defiance continues at school, and now that he's been caught, the charm at home has been replaced by rudeness and defiance too. No need to try and charm anyone when all privileges have been revoked.
We are meeting for a conference at the school next week to sort out the extent of the lies, deception and offenses. But the triathlons are gone. The deal was good behavior at school. I am disappointed because I think the challenge would have been good for him. There are three local triathlons in the next month too. But I can't back down on what I said. My children have to show they can be trusted to be in activities. And there have been many violations of trust in the past few weeks.
I know he can change, but right now he doesn't see that need. We are the problem. And honestly, I'm sure we don't always make the right decisions, but freedom and privileges are earned by being responsible and trustworthy.
Funny, because I just wrote an article for Living with Teens about that very thing. Sent it in yesterday.
How are privileges and responsibilities tied together for your kids? How do you decide how much freedom your child is ready for?