A parent came by the office recently to share a little insight into “a new program” they have in their home this school year…the “No Rescue” Program. After years of rescuing four children, this mom decided to sit her children down to declare, “you’re on your own; no more rescues for homework, planners, books, instruments, lunch…anything.” With four children, this mom was beyond stressed at constantly being called into action; she was quitting the micro-managing job of The Fixer.
The Fixer is the one who solves others’ problems and daily challenges; educators understand this role far too well (parents do as well!). Learning to own our consequences and being held accountable for our responsibilities are life lessons–these skills are with us always! Sure, leaving lunch at home might mean you eat a sun butter and jelly sandwich with milk one day; chances are you won’t forget your lunch the next day. Forgetting that project board to accompany the final presentation may mean a lower grade; chances are this won’t happen again. A child who always forgets with a parent who always remembers takes away the opportunity for personal responsibility and accountability. Responsibility in developmental stages teaches children the important lessons of real repercussions for mistakes. Failure and natural consequences are not bad, after all, who will be there to rescue them in college or at their first job?
Sure, everyone makes one-time mistakes, but consider implementing this “No Rescue” plan for repeat offenders. This mom did and life at home is nag-free each day! She sets up each child for success by planning ahead (having that project board in the car the night before or the planner in the backpack after signing it). She also imparts empathy (one of our LME words this year!) when something goes wrong by simply hugging the child and saying, “you survived the experience and you’ll remember next time” . . . and they do! 🙂