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To expect my DS12 to actually pack his bag when I remind him to?

(15 Posts)
MrsRossPoldark Mon 13-Jul-15 08:36:07

Just had our regular "you didn't pack your bag last night did you?" argument.

Every night I send DS12 upstairs to pack his school bag. He goes up, tells me he's packed, comes back down. I include in my instructions the following:
School uniform
Books
Lunch card
House key

Then over breakfast, it turns out he has no trousers, can't find his homework diary and then is about to leave the house with no lunch card and no house keys (I will be out when he comes home, as I have been away all weekend so need to do a food shop after work). DSs 17&16 will be home anyway but that's not the point.

AIBU to expect him to be capable of packing his own school bags and should I go back to doing it for him, or sitting in his room until I have seen him do it? Feels as if I now need to wipe his bottom for him too.

AuntyMag10 Mon 13-Jul-15 08:38:48

At 12yo he should be far more capable than he currently is. Stop babying him. Let him forget a few things and deal with the consequences of it. How will he learn if you are there to pick up for him. Sit down with him and make a list of what he needs to do, but let him put together the list.

reni1 Mon 13-Jul-15 08:43:33

Either make him show you once he has packed until you can trust it or let him face the consequences.

No lunch key? A 12yo won't waste from one hungry day. No school trousers? He will be late or in jeans, either way has to take the school's punishment. No housekeys- couple of hours waiting on the doorstep will remind him in future etc.

MrsRossPoldark Mon 13-Jul-15 08:48:00

My DM says I should do it all for him as he obviously isn't mature enough to do it himself.

My older sons have messy rooms, and don't care about their clothes or personal hygiene (although DS16 has suddenly discovered hair gel and the gym!). DM reckons this is down to me giving them too much responsibilty too young.

Just getting a bit sick of feeling like a rubbish Mother. I'm not hyper-organised myself but organised enough to know what needs doing and when, especially when it comes to something that needs doing every single school night!

Euphemia Mon 13-Jul-15 08:50:26

My DD has just turned 13 and I've been leaving her to face the consequences of poor preparation all year.

I ask if she has homework, just in case she needs help with it, but other than that she's left to organise herself. I don't ask to see homework, or check her bag at all.

It's my responsibility on a Sunday to make sure there are clean clothes for the school week, I also make her packed lunch. That's it.

reni1 Mon 13-Jul-15 08:51:25

I would argue the opposite, MrsRoss. Give them more responsibility. 12 is old enough to look after all his personal care, school stuff and room. You advise, pay for stuff and make sure he doesn't go off the rails.

Euphemia Mon 13-Jul-15 08:51:29

So what did you do for your other sons when they were 12?

MrsRossPoldark Mon 13-Jul-15 09:00:36

Euphemia: I'd like to think I treated the older ones the same way, but I don't remember! What I do remember (or not remember?) is that I didn't have the same ridiculous arguments over why they hadn't packed their school bags the night before when I'd told them to, so they must have actually done it!

poocatcherchampion Mon 13-Jul-15 09:01:02

Practically speaking I would help out with the next few weeks (in a slightly patronising way - here is your key") and with warnings thatvnext school year he is on his own. And then leave him to it.

AuntyMag10 Mon 13-Jul-15 09:02:53

You need to stop taking your DM advice because it's very poor advice. Lazy kids make lazy partners. How will they ever become responsible adults if they aren't allowed to. Let your ds face the consequences and he will learn.

MrsRossPoldark Mon 13-Jul-15 09:08:31

Poocatcherchampion: I like the 'patronising' style suggestion! Right up my street. Off to work now (where everyone has to be very organised!) for some light relief until this evening.

muminhants1 Mon 13-Jul-15 09:11:19

My 12 year old is the same. Came downstairs this morning - where's my tie mum - can't find it. I'm worried because he had 3 at one point and now he can't find any - has he lost them all at school. So I go upstairs. Open drawer where ties should be. Tie is sitting there, right on the top.

I went ballistic.

But I disagree that because you're lazy at 12 you're lazy at 40. When you get older and you're on your own, you have to learn.

The problem with something like sending kid to school in jeans because they should have found their trousers is that the school will send them home again. If they've not got a house key and you're in work, that just isn't a feasible outcome or if they can't just walk home from school. It works for homework and the like, they'll get a detention, but then the school will mutter about parents not supporting the school. My son's school said don't bail them out, but I wonder how much they really judge parents if a kid continually forgets their PE kit or homework.

You can't win. You leave them to make a mess of things and take the consequences and you're wrong. You bail them out, you're wrong.

Anon4Now2015 Mon 13-Jul-15 09:23:15

DM reckons this is down to me giving them too much responsibilty too young.

At 12????

All my kids have responsibility for putting together their own school stuff. I rarely even check with them. The youngest is 7 and they've had this responsibility since they started school at 4.

They also have to keep their own bedrooms clean and tidy and the tidiness aspect has been their responsibility (with encouragement) since they were toddlers.

Ignore your DM. Kids need to learn how to do these things or they end up dependent entitled adults.

PUGaLUGS Mon 13-Jul-15 09:30:12

Leave him to it. Honestly it is the only way. How is he ever going to learn? He needs to suffer the consequences.

And yes I do have teenagers 18 and nearly 16.

DS2 has had to bike to school - 6 miles on a few occasions because he has missed the school bus. Tough. He is up in time but his choice to lay on the settee after breakfast with the dog.

sashh Mon 13-Jul-15 09:55:45

My DM says I should do it all for him as he obviously isn't mature enough to do it himself.

Do you want to be packing a bag for a 30 year old?

Tell him to pack his bag, then bring it down for you to check, then put it somewhere downstairs so he can't take anything out. Just inside the front door is a good place.

If that means him coming downstairs in PJs to get his uniform, so be it.

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