So, snow day today. Woohoo, yeah , awesome, high five! Now that we got that over with the real story is about to begin. Last night I had a long sit down with my 15 year old daughter. She is missing quite a bit of work in school and her chores have really been falling behind. See a pattern here? I do and as mom I DO NOT LIKE IT. Although it has become the norm for school policies to let these kids hand their work in with no consequence whenever is it convenient, and coaches seem to let kids skip practice or skip laps at their own convenience, it is creating a HUgE inconvenience at home. I know society has the very best intentions but the result is these kids do not do anything in a timely fashion. Before they know it, they have fallen so far behind and they are surrounded with a cloud of hopelessness they never seem to find a way to pull their head out of. Well, lucky for me I am a “stay on top of it” kind of gal so I don’t suffer from this epidemic of DGAD (don’t get anything done!)
Anyway, back to the story. I happened to wander into the laundry room this morning, and there, sitting on the washer was an overflowing basket of smelly teenage laundry. I patiently walked into the living room where my teen was on her 4th episode of Dance Moms and with my sweetest voice possible told my daughter the dreaded truth. “Kayleigh, the washer does not have magical powers.” She sat there a moment staring blankly at me and asked, “what do you mean?” So I continued to tell her that the clothes do not magically find themselves inside the washer and someone actually has to put them in. Her response, “well, I,thought if I brought them downstairs YOU do them.”
Aha, at last the problem had become obvious. I was successful in teaching her if her clothes sat in her closet they wouldn’t get washed, but she misinterpreted my next piece of information as bring them downstairs, they get washed. Seriously, I am telling this story because it is a vERY important one. I noticed that even dealing with teachers and adults, sometimes we think we are being very clear in what it is we are trying to convey, but the real meaning gets lost somewhere inside the interpretation. I am learning slowly, that sometimes we have to be specific to a ridiculous degree.
If we expect someone to do something, we have to make sure they understand what it is we are asking them to do.
I will leave you with this example. One day my husband decided to meet me at Starbucks on his way to work. He penciled me into his schedule and I was grateful. We left the house at the same time but I was sitting there for several minutes wondering where he could be. Finally the phone rang and I asked, “where are you?” His response, “sitting in Starbucks”. So there we were, sitting in two different Starbucks on two different sides of town. You think I could say lesson learned then but I am still making the same mistake today. By golly, I think I may have finally got it! Yay me!