“If you are dropping off your son’s lunch, books, homework, equipment etc., please TURN AROUND and exit the building. Your son will learn to problem-solve in your absence.”
...The words on a sign at an Arkansas High School.
For me, it's very important to remain conscious in all of my decisions, so I try not to make blanket statements such as the one in the school's posting (read one article explaining the rationale here) because it takes the consciousness out of the individual decision-making in a potential situation. When we are raising conscious children, I believe it is very important that they know we are always there for them, so that they can, through our constancy, understand how to always be there for themselves. When I initially saw this post going around I equated it to a type of shaming that has become commonplace in media in which children are held on display for their mistakes, rather than cared for and then encouraged to learn. I would probably not adhere to the "rule" were my child in the school.
It also occurs to me that if we are trying to prepare children for life... In real life, if I forget my meal (or a project that is due, etc) for work, I am not stuck at work all day without lunch (the project, etc), I have options. So setting up artificial constraints on children that they cannot get what they forget, albeit with consequences, isn't training them, it's only punishing them. If my husband calls and says he forgot a file on his desk at home I would never say, "Tough, you need to learn your lesson!" I would bring it to him!
I hope, as a culture, we can soon step away from the authoritarian parenting style in which children are seen as inferior and held to standards to which we don't hold ourselves. Instead I hope children will be seen as fully actualized human beings who are deserving of respect and treated as we wish to be treated ourselves.
What are your thoughts?
Emily A. Filmore is the author of the With My Child series of children's books about family bonding. Withmychildseries.com. She is the co-author of Conversations with God for Parentswith Neale Donald Walsch and Laurie Lankins Farley. (Rainbow Ridge, 2015). And the author of The Marvelous Transformation: Living Well with Autoimmune Disease about her experiences with chronic illness. (Central Recovery Press 2015). Emily is available for Personal and Spiritual Mentoring.