The Art of Homemaking: “Cause For Alarm”

Simon just left to go play over at his best buddy’s house.  Being 8 now he thinks he’s old and big and tough…too tough for his mom to drive him over to his friends, even in the wind and the snow.  But I watched him out the front window…because even though he’s 8, he’s only 8 and I’m a worrier.  And what I worry most about is my kids.
Lately I’ve been worrying that I’m not teaching Simon how to be responsible enough.  I am reminding him constantly to do things, brush your teeth, flush the toilet, tie your shoes.  And then there is the matter of the lost and found…that boy looses everything—his backpack, his coat, his lunch box…and one day he even came home from school without his socks! 
(But mom…we were playing this game….and we all put our bare feet in the snow….and then we threw the socks over the fence….)
Anyone else have an 8 year old like this?
Anyways, so we’ve been trying a few things around here to see if we can help him become more responsible and on a whim the other night I decided to look in my 1965 copy of “Heloise All Around the House” to see is she had any advice on the subject.  Here is what I found:
Cause For Alarm
“From Johnnie’s mother:  My little boy just cannot learn time.  He is five years old.  He has been late for dinner sometimes ten nights in a row.  We finally decided that we could tie an alarm clock on the bottom of his tricycle (under the seat) and set it for 5:30 p.m.  No matter where he is, when the clock goes off, either he or some of his friends will hear it and he scoots home real quick.  Works like a charm.  Now I even use this method at noon!  He loves it.”
Are you kidding me?  An alarm clock on the bottom of a 5 year old’s tricycle?  What the heck was Johnnie’s mom doing ALL DAY LONG that she let her little kids just run wild to come home only when an alarm went off to get fed?  Nice.  If I parented like that someone would be sure to call the cops on me!  Although, come to think of it, maybe she’s on to something…I wonder if I could get a reminder alarm for the lunch box, and toothbrush, and toilet…yeah, maybe she wasn’t so crazy after all….
Have a good weekend everyone…and if you find a pair of socks out laying in the snow just send them over, they belong to Simon.
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  1. says

    that is too funny! i am finally starting to let go a little. my little guy is now taking the bus home. i was tired of him begging me to do so. i actually love seeing him get off the bus. he is so little and cute:) i wish i could keep them little forever!

  2. says

    My 8 year old needs to be reminded every day of the get ready for school jobs. Sometimes it feels like I should not have to say, “Brush your teeth!” one more time…And yes, she forgets things and loses things everywhere!

  3. says

    Ah, back before Stranger Danger when people could let their kids just go play and know that Timmy’s mom down the road would give the lot of them heck when they chased little Susie with frogs.
    My biggest reminder lately to my eldest? “I AM THE MOM. LET ME BE THE MOM.” She is such a little mother but it drives me batty when she tries to tell me how to parent the other kids or acts like I’m not 2 feet away. SHE IS FIVE. Fiiiiiiive.

  4. says

    The good ole days! When kids could go outside and play, and there were other kids outside playing, and Moms were generally home – you didn’t have to worry about them, because all the Mom’s kept an eye out.

    I think I must be older than the rest of you 🙂 I raised 3 children and now I have 16 grandchildren from 1 month old to freshmen in college.

    Make charts! Stop reminding!! He won’t learn to do it himself, cause he knows you’ll remind him to do it. Put it on him. If he goes to school a few days without his teeth brushed, it’s not the end of the world. But I’ll bet his friend tease him for his bad breath and then he’ll remember! 🙂

    I used to crochet a chain, long enough to reach from hand to hand (and string it through the jacket, through to the hanging loop that is usually there) and attache each end to a mitten. Never lost.

    Isn’t this great? Advice no one asked for 🙂 That’s how us old ladies get….

    🙂 Karen

  5. says

    Ah my daughter is well aware of what responsibility is, and though she is also a master at avoiding/ignoring/passing it on, we do our best to have certain things that she knows she will be expected to do. I also keep this is mind … How many times have I, the adult, been late? How many times have I lost my coffee cup, or mitten, or hell… my whole purse! The idea of teaching our children to do their best is just as important as any other lesson. It helps them have better expectations of what they are capable of, as well as what YOU as their parent are capable of. If we scold them endlessly about losing socks, what will they expect to be able to do when you forget their lunch? Or their permission slip? I try and remember, some of my daughters most frustrating behavior is exactly what she’s learned from me. And if I can find a way to learn with her, then we both improve. <3

  6. says

    hello! I love your blog. My 8 year old son is the same as yours, every day he comes home from school without something. Not a single day without losing things. I do not think the clock help me, but maybe try anyway.
    Saludos desde Argentina

  7. says

    I read this and had to laugh. I have 7 kids- my oldest is 29 with his 1st baby. His little family lives in my basement so I still get a chance to do the newborn stuff. My youngest is 7 and sounds just like your boy! Feels like I’ve been doing this stuff FORever…LOL. My DH is 56 and remembers the days he and his friends would play in the fields and gullies until nightfall. Parents didn’t worry and nothing bad ever happened. He was 6 or 7. It was a child’s paradise.

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