Halfway to Harrisburg, AR for a mandatory meeting at 7:30 in the morning, my cell phone rings. All I can hear is crying and sniffing and more crying.
“He left me because he thought I wasn’t ready. I ran down the driveway and he just kept going!”
More crying and wailing.
“Now I’m going to be really late!”
More and more crying…
I’ve been traveling a lot lately and my children have been struggling with getting to school on time. When I’m home in the mornings, I usually check on them several times to make sure they are in the appropriate stages of readiness. When I’m gone, no one checks. They have been hard pressed to make it to school before the bell.
Enter everyone’s own personal alarm clock. They have now become responsible for waking themselves up, getting ready on time, and making it out the door at a predetermined time each morning. The above scenario was one of the first mornings of our experiment. Not just real successful.
The rules are: Barrett has to leave by 7:30 or he has to go with a parent, be tardy, and not get to take a car to school. The other 2 children have to be in the car and ready to go before 7:30 or they will go with a parent and be late…if at all possible.
Real consequences are the best teacher…and the hardest teacher…for all of us. This has not been easy, but it could have a big payoff.
Last week was our first week for the new alarm system. It started out rough, but got smoother as the week progressed.
Today was awesome! They were up and out of the house with no fussing or drama.
I had to leave before 6:00 AM today to make it to a meeting in south Arkansas. As I was scooting down the road, I kept waiting for a phone call from one of the children in tears or fighting mad.
The phone was eerily silent. I picked up the phone a few times to call and check, but decided to leave it alone.
All went well. I am hopeful that we are on to something good.