AIBU to not take dd's homework to school

(65 Posts)
ClaraBean Thu 10-Jan-13 09:33:16

She will probably get a detention sad
She is in year 7 and I am so sick of her forgetting stuff all the time. It is not the first time I have had a phone call asking me to take homework to school.
She is forgetting to hand in important reply slips, we had to miss her winter performance because she forgot to get us tickets for two weeks. So we had to drop her off and stand outside waiting for her.
I have her a choice of coming home to collect it (and being late for school) or telling her teacher she will bring it in tomorrow (and probably getting a detention).
She is a really great girl, and excels at school, does lots of academic after school clubs, I just need her to take a bit of responsiblity for her stuff and her her homework.
So was IBU? I probably was wasn't I sad

TheSecretCervixDNCOP Thu 10-Jan-13 09:35:32

YANBU, it's all part of learning consequences, in this case forgotten homework= detention.

threesypeesy Thu 10-Jan-13 09:36:38

shes 7 surely you check her bag when she comes in from school for letters and such? and double check with her in the morning she has everything she needs? i think uabu, why let her get detention!

cazza40 Thu 10-Jan-13 09:36:49

Yanbu she will learn a lesson from this hopefully

cazza40 Thu 10-Jan-13 09:38:01

I think the op said year 7 not aged 7 ? - she should be old enough to take responsibility

valiumredhead Thu 10-Jan-13 09:38:04

She's not 7, she's IN year 7 grin

YANBU as it isn't the first time.

steppemum Thu 10-Jan-13 09:40:14

I remember a similar thread to this a while ago

half the posters said no, you ar NOT BU, she has to learn, take responsibility, if you and she have a reasonable system in place (eg a calendar with which days she needs what) then back of, hand the responsibility over to her and let her get on with it, and take the consequences.
In this light I find it unreasonable that school phones you to ask you to bring it!

But then a whole group of parents came on talking about how their kids were struggling with disorganisation and they just couldn't get it together and they had to take a more supportive and structured approach, to try and get them there with a much longer time line

SO I think you sound very reasonable, but it might depend a bit on your dd, and how her coping skills are.

threesypeesy Thu 10-Jan-13 09:40:24

she did just realised but i still stick by my opinion kids easily forget whats been handed out ever course of the day it would take 30 seconds to check before and after school and save from any detentions and things being forgotten

landofsoapandglory Thu 10-Jan-13 09:41:33

I would do it, and I have done. None of us are perfect, we all make mistakes. I'd do it because you never know when you will want her to do favours for you.

realcoalfire Thu 10-Jan-13 09:44:05

but on the other hand taking it in teaches her that you care about her, and want to help her. i would take it in this once and help her set up a system for making sure she has got everything ready the night before.I remember how hard the leap from primary to Y7 was in terms of organisation.I think at this stage of the game she needs support from you.

I wouldn't do it. It's been a whole term since the start of the school year, time enough to get sorted by now.

DD forgot things a couple of times at the start of year 7, but as neither her dad or I could take them in for her she had to deal with the consequences. It focused her mind, so now in Year 8, she doesn't forget stuff. At the start of her first year at secondary, I prompted her at stages every day. EG time to get up, have you packed your bag, got lunch and all homework?

Now it's second nature.

ClaraBean Thu 10-Jan-13 09:48:47

Trouble is I have taken in other homework 'just this once'
She can cope with organising herself, if it is something she loves (like science) she is right on top of it. She would never have forgotten her science homwork, or her guitar, for example.
And I did remind her to put her homework in her bag last night, and she said she would.
I am hoping this will giver her a kick up the bum and she will sort it out.
I just feel really mean.

manicinsomniac Thu 10-Jan-13 09:55:56

tough but I think on balance YANBU, it isn't your responsibility.

I do go home when my Y5 daughter forgets stuff but that's only because a) we live 5 minutes away, b) I'm always running home when I forget my own stuff so it would be massively hypocritical of me not to do it for her and c) I work in her school so I'd get stick from the other teachers and called mean!

teacher123 Thu 10-Jan-13 10:00:24

Neither of my parents had jobs which meant that they could bring stuff in if we'd forgotten it, therefore we had to suck it up! As a secondary school teacher if your dd was normally on time/reliable etc then I would prob allow her to hand it in first thing tomorrow morning or something like that rather than give a detention straight away. I am very firmly of the opinion that children need to learn to do these things themselves. It's not like it's something for a GCSE exam, then you would be unreasonable!

Hullygully Thu 10-Jan-13 10:01:17

Depends on the child.

My dd is UBER organised.

My ds is willing and tries hard but lives in Vague Land and needs a lot more inout.

Hullygully Thu 10-Jan-13 10:01:24


ethelb Thu 10-Jan-13 10:03:20

In my day (not that long ago I am 26) one wouldn't have been able to call your mother to get her to drop stuff off as you wouldn't have a mobile on you. Plus my mother was a headteacher of different school so there was no way they wold have been able to bring my stuff in.

If anything you taking it in is v unfair on people who have 2x wohp.

Perhaps as she's in Y7 so just started secondary really if she does forget it again you could take it in for her ? Or could you still take this one in today ?
Just thinking getting one detention is OK and may teach responsibilty/ consequences but you don't really want her getting lots ?

You might find she does gradually get more organised towards Y8/9 (my DD is now in Y9 and getting there !) - it's all something that needs to be learnt. Don't think now she's at secondary she should be able to do it all perfectly ? It's a gradual process ! especially for some of us blush

mrsjay Thu 10-Jan-13 10:05:09

I wouldn't take it to her she is what 11/12 she needs to sort herself out you could remind her but it is up to her to take it with her, dd is nearly 15 and her friend treats his mum like his minion she is always at school picking stuff up dropping stuff off for him , once she told me she went to school because he had P E and his bag was to heavy to carry shock dont do it

noblegiraffe Thu 10-Jan-13 10:07:25

I'm a teacher, please don't take it in. Your DD would learn nothing except that her parents will pick up after her if she can't get herself organised and in the long term that will do her no favours. Better to teach her to be organised so that it doesn't happen again.

mrsjay Thu 10-Jan-13 10:09:37

and 1 detention isn't going to kill her is it she might take stock and think oh I need to sort my self out, we can't and shouldn't protect them forever,

ethelb Thu 10-Jan-13 10:09:52

oh and at my school teachers were deeply, deeply unimpressed when they found out that pupils had done this too. The teacher might punish them anyway.

DeafLeopard Thu 10-Jan-13 10:12:27

I would do it cos I am a soft touch and I have a fairly flexible job that involves working from home.....but agree that she won't learn if you always bail her out.

ClaraBean Thu 10-Jan-13 10:15:56

Oh, I feel so much better now grin
She has never had a detention before, the other times she forgot homework I took it in as her school is on the way to my work, but I have the day off today and I have lazing around housework to do.
She is a good kid, polite, kind, gets lots of house points, and had 5 post cards home last term for being great in many ways <proud> .
mrsjay that would never be me grin poor woman. She will end up doing his washing when he is 34!

olgaga Thu 10-Jan-13 10:21:51

My DD is Y7 and it has been a really difficult transition. Frankly the first half term was bloody awful.

They have so much to remember - homework every night, when to hand it in, what classes they have the following day. DD was in a state of high anxiety about punishments and detentions, losing/forgetting her log book/forgetting to get it signed/PE/food tech ingredients/ it goes on and on. She's also just started her periods and has to remember pads etc. too. It's getting a bit better now, but like you, OP, we almost missed the Christmas concert but we were lucky there were some tickets returned.

The only way I've found is to get a good routine going, and be (gently) on her case all the time about it. DD comes home, has a drink and a snack, does her homework. Then the logbook gets checked for the following day and her bag has to be packed the night before.

This has to happen before tea, TV, ipod, chatting with friends or anything else. We have a special crate where everything school-related is kept, so anything I find lying around the house gets put in there.

She hates me poking around in her bag but I do still have a good sort through now and then (when she isn't around) otherwise it gets heavier and heavier! I did this just this morning while she was upstairs getting dressed.

Gradually we're getting there. Yes they are old enough to "take responsibility" but some are better than others at different things at different times. At that age sometimes they're 11 going on 25, other times they are 11 going on 6. Like everything else, organisation is something you have to teach them - and keep teaching them - until it becomes a habit.

Loquace Thu 10-Jan-13 10:22:07

I'd take it in.

I was a very late bloomer in terms of being organised and remembering things. My parents went in for the "tough love" approach. I got stressed, found it even harder to manage to keep all the balls in the air. I'm much better now, at nearly 45.

I work with DS. Let him "organise" then double check. He is better than I was at his age, but at 11 he still has a way to go in terms of being a bit distracted and recognising that the speed of storing things in your head isn't always worth the minutes lost in writng things down so they don't "fall out of head" when something more interesting from a kid's perspective comes along.

I think it was the need as a mother to stay on top of things when he first started kindergarten that gave me the final sprinkle of motivation to get organised to "normal person" degree. Still find it hard work, but at least I do do it now.

lovelyladuree Thu 10-Jan-13 10:25:31

She is 12 years old at the most. Putting them in a blazer doesn't magically give them organisational skills and an adult brain you know. FFS cut these kids some slack.

5madthings Thu 10-Jan-13 10:31:16

Yanbu she neefs to start taking redponsibility for these things. You say you have taken her homework in previously so all that does is reinforce the idea that she doesnt have to be irganised as mum will save the day.

Let her get the detention then sit down with her and work out a plan to help her get more organised.

ll31 Thu 10-Jan-13 10:32:09

Yeah but also they're 12 you know , and doing the organising for them doesnlt help them learn. ..

exexpat Thu 10-Jan-13 10:32:35

I took a 3-strikes approach with DS in year 7 - he wasn't the most organised of boys, and was starting to take advantage of school being not far from home + mobile phones not being banned to phone and ask me to bring in forgotten PE kit, homework etc.

I gave him a warning, and said that I would do it twice, but the next time he was on his own and would have to deal with the consequences. He's been fine since - occasional forgotten PE kit, but no major disasters.

5madthings Thu 10-Jan-13 10:33:18

And no putting them in a blazer doesnt magically give them organisational skills. They are something you help them develop starting with when they are at primary so that when they get to high school its not so much of a shock to the system.

mrsjay Thu 10-Jan-13 10:36:36

she is 12 not 2 she has to go to school she needs her stuff she needs to organise herself for school of course she isn't an adult but when do you stop doing everything for them at what age is it ok for them to learn to sort themselves, when they leave school when it is too late , bringing up children to be organised adults takes years it doesn't happen over night there is no magical age when it all clicks they have to be taught ime.

Bogeyface Thu 10-Jan-13 10:37:43

The reason the DD never forgets her homework etc is because after I took stuff in for her twice I said that I wasnt doing it again. And I didnt.

One detention later and she makes sure she has her stuff!

Yes they are kids but if they are constantly picked up after then they will never grow up.

ClaraBean Thu 10-Jan-13 10:44:04

Well, I have done it twice and this is the third time, so I think she has had her chances.
I think over the weekend we will sort her desk out together and make sure her timetable is on display somewhere obvious (maybe on the front door!) instead of in her diary.
I am dreading ds starting secondary school! Dd is very sensible, and is struggling. Ds is a scatty little chap. I had better start getting him used tobeing organised now!

olgaga Thu 10-Jan-13 10:44:25

and doing the organising for them doesnlt help them learn. ..

I don't think anyone's saying "do it for them", but you do have to work on their routine and organisation with them.

Hullygully Thu 10-Jan-13 10:45:10

yy olgaga

then it becomes habitual

mrsjay Thu 10-Jan-13 10:46:03

I don't think anyone's saying "do it for them", but you do have to work on their routine and organisation with them.

of course but sometimes they do need to learn for themselves

Mrsrudolphduvall Thu 10-Jan-13 10:47:18

I wouldn't take it in. fair enough the first time, but not after that.

Loquace Thu 10-Jan-13 10:58:27

and doing the organising for them doesnlt help them learn. ..

But the transition from mum organising EVERYTHING (like when they start kinder) to child organising everything/most things isn't a magic point in time. It is a process of mum letting go of some bits and child picking up the responisbility. And that process isn't smooth and one way. At certain periods the kid will backtrack a bit, sometimes mum hands over a bit too much, a bit too quick and needs to do some backtracking of her own.

Plus the process is more than just hand over, you have to teach the "how tos".

I'm not saying go all steroytypical mediteranian on your kid and micromange every element of their stuff until they reach managerial level. But a bit less

Rigidity with the independance at any cost thing
Wanting it bang on time at a certain point
Disregarding of an individual's strengths and weaknesses

..... possibly wouldn't go amiss with the kids who are finding it harder to get to grips with all the stuff they have to do, organise and think ahead with.

Pandemoniaa Thu 10-Jan-13 11:01:19

Well, I have done it twice and this is the third time, so I think she has had her chances.

Agree. Also, you say she is quite capable of being organised about the subjects/activities she likes so it looks like she's quite happy to take rather a selective approach to taking responsibility for homework getting into school.

It really won't hurt for her to realise that you don't exist as some sort of personal servant and one detention is hardly going to ruin her school career.

Whatever you do, don't end up like a friend of mine who has been so keen to ensure her son is organised for school that she does all the running around after him. Regardless of how inconvenient to her. At 15 he has completely absolved himself of all responsibility and if he gets a detention for not taking homework/PE kit/cooking ingredients or whatever into school, happily tells his mother that she is to blame because "I can't be expected to sort this myself".

I started with the organisation training when DD was in Primary. It got her used to checking her bag, seeing she had her stuff. Gentle repetition of "is your uniform ready for tomorrow?" "What do you need for school, is your bag ready?" "Any homework to take in?" I don't need to do anything to remind her now, she's 12.5 in Yr 8.

DS is in Yr4 and I started these things ages ago. I also get them to organise after school stuff, while overseeing things to ensure it's all done. I feel getting the DCs into these habits of checking at an early enough age will be beneficial in the long run.

I see helping the DCs to be able to organise themselves as a necessary step towards independence when older. I could quite easily run around after them, but I would not then be doing them any favours.

nokidshere Thu 10-Jan-13 11:11:10

I "helped" my son through yr7, reminded him in yr8 and now in yr9 he is totally organised and able to remember the things he needs to. I am currently doing the same for my yr7 son although he is already far more organised than his brother was at the same age.

The transition for primary to secondary is huge and I don't see any problem with helping out your child for that year, gradually transferring responsibility onto them.

Loquace Thu 10-Jan-13 11:16:01

I started with the organisation training when DD was in Primary. It got her used to checking her bag, seeing she had her stuff. Gentle repetition of "is your uniform ready for tomorrow?" "What do you need for school, is your bag ready?" "Any homework to take in?" I don't need to do anything to remind her now, she's 12.5 in Yr 8.

I did the same. Our children are similar ages, and while I never have to run anything in, (well I wouldn't even if homework were still physically handed in rather than uploaded to the school/teacher) I do still have to prod sometimes to make sure he is running the routine as perscribed to avoid a few last minute "OMG I forgot"s. The nearer it is to Yu Gi Oh tornament or other distraction the more likely the need for a poke. And he still needs my help to insert new elements into the "keeping on top of it all" routine if a new activity or similar gets added on. He comes up with a way to insert the new thing into his checks and routine, I tweak and talk over the whys of the tweak if needed, and then poke regularly for a while till it becomes habit.

I guess over time his abiltity to think of a good way to insert new stuff off the bat will improve til he doesn't need me at all, cos each time he does it his "cunning plan" tends to better than the previous time.

DS is in Year 9 at a school 12 miles away. He texted me from the bus to ask me to Pleeeeease bring his Science book in. I did it because I could, and charged him petrol money.

noblegiraffe Thu 10-Jan-13 11:30:15

Helping your child out should mean going though their timetable, showing them how to get into a routine, teaching them how to pack their bag and maybe asking if they've packed their bag before they go to bed. It should not mean being on call all day just in case despite your best efforts they've forgotten something.
It's not a great impression to give your kids either, that mum (and it's never dad) has nothing better to do than sit at home all day waiting for a message to bring something in.
I've had kids forget their homework and when I've queried it pulled out their phone and say 'oh, I'll get my mum to bring it in by lunchtime'. I act suitably outraged and lecture them on how their poor mother no doubt has better things to do and under no circumstances are they to be dragged into school. The homework is marked as late, the kid accepts the consequences and also gets a lecture about packing their bag the night before.
I once had a parent scan in some missing homework and email it to me. I didn't accept that either.

I've noticed that kids seem to be worse at handing homework in, bringing the right books, having the right equipment these days than when I started teaching. They'll annouce that they don't have a pen, then look expectantly at me like it's my problem to sort. My current Y7 in particular (both pre and post setting) are awful. Independence needs to be worked on before they get to secondary.

Hullygully Thu 10-Jan-13 11:32:17

<scared of giraffe>

<hides behind Hully>

Hullygully Thu 10-Jan-13 11:34:02

What I think is that everyone is different.

No matter your desires, rules and expectations, some will be better at organising themselves than others just as some are better at sport or maths or drawing or abstract thinking.

It's unrealistic to have a blanket approach (I know you have to as a teacher, but that is different from a parent)

akaemmafrost Thu 10-Jan-13 11:34:40


But I would take it it because I am a softy.

DS left his Science book upstairs on his bed accidentally, because he had spent all evening revising, so I felt sorry for him.

juule Thu 10-Jan-13 11:37:39

I agree with Hully.

I'd also take it in if I could.
If I couldn't because i had something else to do then my dc would accept that fact.

Hullygully Thu 10-Jan-13 11:38:22

I would help anyone, child or adult that had ACCIDENTALLY forgotten something if feasible because it is the kind thing to do.

And as my DS points out, how can you know you've FORGOTTEN something if you've FORGOTTEN it?

The clue is in the word.

meddie Thu 10-Jan-13 11:39:40

I wouldn't take it in sorry. If she has done this more than once then she needs some consequences for her actions. A one off detention will not kill her and may be just what she needs to focus her mind a little more :D
From 11 both my children where responsible for all their gym kits for the week and any homework , letters etc. We had a few slip ups initially, but after that no forgotten items for the rest of their schooling.
I believe as a parent my job was to raise self sufficient independent adults and taking consequences for actions is a major part of that.

Loquace Thu 10-Jan-13 11:40:25

scared of giraffe

Oh don't be! She's luffly!

Patience of a saint even when explaining Set Therory (not even in a proper English translation) to a slightly hysterical mother up against the clock and a ten year old who just looked blank at the concept of letters/symbols in a maths book.

Hullygully Thu 10-Jan-13 11:40:49

Would you help an adult, Meddie?

Or let them take consequences?

fluffyraggies Thu 10-Jan-13 11:42:23

Havn't read all the thread but can empathise OP.

We live out in the middle of nowhere and once DDs all got to year 7 they had to start getting a bus to school (20 min car journey) and so forgetting something and me fetching it was suddenly a big deal. With each of them i did my best to help them establish a routine, and did provide a safety net for the first few months (depending on what it was, i would drive up with a forgotten lunch for eg.) but after that it was tough i'm afraid.

I think each of them suffered a detention at some point, just the once, for forgetting something. Then they learned to remember. It does teach 'em.

seeker Thu 10-Jan-13 11:43:35

I don't think you can have a blanket policy. It depends on lots of things, and the consequences of forgetting. And whether they beg, or expect!

For example, I have taken in forgetten instruments before, because otherwise I have paid for a music lesson that wouldn't happen. And this morning, I took ds's PE top in because otherwise he wouldn't have been allowed to go and play in an inter school match this afternoon. But I let them get detentions for homework and bits of uniform.

Loquace Thu 10-Jan-13 11:47:00

she needs some consequences for her actions

That is all well and good, IF the consequence can bring about postive change.

I got the negative consquences, but all it did was lead me to believe the problem was who I was (Sarah is terribly disorganised!) rather than a prolem with something I was doing (like not having a good stratagy for keeping on top of things before they became a problem).

I sort of gave up trying to be organised cos I honestly believed after years of tears, negative lables and castigation that I was a lost cause.

It came as a huge shock to me that with a good plan (thank you sister of mine, I love you deeply) I could be organsied for my son, teach him how to be organised in a transitional manner and get it right. That experience is what led me to tentativly use similar stratagies for myself. I'm not saying I'm perfect at it, have to fight old habits and mindset. But it has been more than a year since I have forgotten a lesson only to open the door to a student with me and the kitchen covered in flour and not a lesson plan in sight.

At least four years since I lost somebodies homework or forgot to mark it on time.

I'm not convinced that the law of natural consequences always has the outcomes people were anticipating from it.

meddie Thu 10-Jan-13 11:47:21

It depends on the situation Hully. If its someone who had 'form' for being flaky/disorganised then I would be reluctant too.
Its personal experience tbh. My mother was a bailer outer and it took me a long time to get myself organised etc even into adult life. It wasnt until there were consequences for me that I started to change.
Forgetting your homework= detention. not paying your council tax because you dont organise your finances = CCJ. Big difference and much bigger consequences as an adult. Its something that needs to be taught when they are young to develop good habits.

fluffyraggies Thu 10-Jan-13 11:48:34

seeker - yes, sometimes it's not cut and dried is it?

From my point of view if i didn't take the DDs forgotten item, therefore dooming them to an after school detention, i would have to drive up anyway to pick them up 'cos they'd miss the school bus home!

<no win situation....>

They are all different though. DD at 11 was super organised, had photocopies of her timetable in 3 different places, days of the week colour coded for PE, never forgot a book, kit piece of homework.
DS1 at 11, in fact ds1 still now at 13 is the opposite. He is not interested in being organised. However, no matter how many times he calls me, I will not take anything to the school, because I am at work. So he has very slowly got a bit better, with a lot of reminding-"have you packed your bag???"

milf90 Thu 10-Jan-13 12:02:39

YANBU dont take it in, she needs to learn and for many kids it isnt even an option as their parents work doesnt allow it.

Startail Thu 10-Jan-13 12:08:04

My school (nearest there was) was 12 miles away.

No chance at all of parents bringing stuff, you learnt the art of good excuses and looking very sorry.

Even when the truth was you hadn't bothered to do it.

I do take things, because the DDs don't ask to often and reception are very good about baby sitting hockey sticks and cookery bags.

I certainly do think they should learn from their mistakes, trouble is my two have clean detention sheets.

DD1 is in Y10, how on earth she's kept out of trouble that long I've no idea. But clearly Mother's name would be mud for spoiling it.

Primary dinner ladies is still mud for giving her her only red card.
(She and her best male friend were fighting, but she still maintains that was non of the dinner ladies business)

I had this when ds1 started Year 7 - he forgot a few things, and as we lived pretty close to the school, I took them up and met him at the office to hand them over - until the day when the secretary came out of the office and made a point of telling ds1 and I that I shouldn't be wandering into the school at all hours. I was a bit shock until, when ds1 had gone, she told me that it wasn't really that big a problem for the school, but that she had said that because she was sure I didn't want to spend my days running to and from school with things he had forgotten.

After that, I stopped taking stuff in for him, and if I remember right, he did have the odd detention for forgetting things - but he did gradually learn to be better organised. So I think YANBU to refuse to drop off the homework, OP, and to let her take the consequences.

gymmummy64 Thu 10-Jan-13 12:43:40

It's still early in Year 7. With my DD1, I had listened too hard to all those talks about how as a parent you have to be hands off in secondary school, let them take responsibility etc. I stepped back as instructed, but I stepped back too far and too fast and spent the first term driving homework and sports kit etc etc to school. I stepped in more in term 2, checked what homework she had, what kit she needed, etc, made sure she'd got it all organised the evening before - not so different to primary really. I even sent text messages reminding her to bring stuff home sometimes. Term 3, she really started to 'get' it and I've been hands off ever since. They all take different amount of time I guess

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now