sleepy teenager

Hold the phone!

No Literally HOLD THE PHONE!

Check out this article about a high school in Iowa that calls its students in the morning to make sure they’re up and getting ready for school. Yep, you read that right! Every. Single. Day.

Officials justify their decision by saying first period is a problem around the country and the move will help kids get to school on time. But in making sure the students are prompt, are they also robbing kids of a chance to grow into responsible adults? How long do we as adults and parents have to ride herd over our kids for even the simplest stuff? I’ll give you an example.

This weekend Cole had a Bat Mitzvah to go to, like he has every weekend of his 13th year. The kids dress up, as these are quite elaborate affairs. So Cole came downstairs, wearing his party “uniform” which is khaki pants, button down shirt and a t-shirt underneath.  Problem is the pants were not ironed; just wash-n-wear and they were a bit wrinkled. I told him to take them off and iron them and he flatly refused. Guess what? I let him go to the party looking like that. You know why? He’s 13 not 3. He knows what he wants to look like and if that is paper bag, then so be it. But I am not about to get crazy over this.

I Tweeted the story and posted it on my Facebook page and you should have seen the response!

Some parents were adamant that they wanted their kids to look good leaving the house since they were a reflection of them – and their parenting skills.  My response is that most parents know that a 13-year-old dresses himself and the ones who think Cole’s wrinkled pants are a reflection of my parenting skills (versus his refusal to use an iron. One more time, he’s 13!) are the ones I can’t be bothered with.  Guess what? When Cole’s an adult you better believe he’s going to know how to iron, and he’ll get really good at it as soon as he takes an interest in girls.

But that’s the issue here. It’s about personal responsibility. SO these kids in Iowa get a wake up call throughout high school? What happens when they go to college? Their first job? Will their bosses be calling to make sure they’re in the shower? Did someone pack their lunch and buy a bus pass? Give me a break.

Schools should do what they’ve been doing for years; deducting points for tardiness. It’s the theory of natural consequences. But this wake up call idea? Wow, too much in my opinion.

That’s my take, what about yours?

Do you think a school should be calling kids to make sure they’re up and getting ready for school? What about my kid and his wrinkled pants? Would you allow your child to go dressed as they wanted to a party? When do our kids have to take responsibility for themselves?

Fire away!