I hadn’t realised the biggest Secondary School Challenge would be over parenting. The end of primary school was very easy going, once SATs were done homework stopped, all of the structure of the timetable dissolved and the fun started. Secondary school has hit us all hard. Homework every night. Getting the right sports kit and boots in the right bag on the right night. Packing school bag. Catching the right bus and the non-stopping train. Wearing their own trousers home. It may be a familiar story.
Trying to teach an 11 year old to timetable their life is interesting, doubly so when you’ve got twins. How to prioritise what has to be done over what they’d like to do. Is it over parenting, or is it nagging, or is over parenting just a more PC term for nagging?
The nagging doesn’t make me feel at all good. Once I start I am apt to go on and on. So how not to start in the first place? Choose your argument seems to be a good mantra. It doesn’t really matter if towel is on the floor and bed is unmade as long as the protractor, German dictionary, water bottle and oyster card are in the right place. Quite a bit of my nagging seems to revolve around possessions. I am definitely Nagger In Chief, my lovely supportive husband doesn’t have any nagging bones in him.
So far the youngest members of the household have lost / mislaid:
1 football sock – necessitating my high speed cycle ride to sports shop to pick up replacement (Cue: Sorry Mummy am I making you late for something? Grr yes)
1 mouth guard – he ambled down to sports shop to buy replacement with pocket money (mega brownie point: he took the initiative)
1 pair of trousers – tricky one this, coming home in someone else’s trousers when they are taller and scarier than you are. Somehow thanks to the kind ladies in the school office and both mums using name tapes both pairs were reunited with the rightful owners. (a lot of nagging involved with this one)
1 sports sweatshirt (I) – very difficult this when the Super Swimmer had borrowed her friend’s and then it went AWOL only to turn up on someone else who didn’t want to give it back. I bought another one and eventually the original one got back to the right girl. (nagging from 2 mums)
1 sports sweatshirt (II) – abandoned on the side of the sports pitch, with no time (inclination?) to retrieve. (some fruitless nagging)
1 coat – left on the train 😦 (I rang round, visited Kings X to no avail, bought another one argh)
1 watch – heaven knows where (replaced with pocket money, what about my time spent traipsing to shop?)
Finally on Friday night it reached a crescendo with the loss of the bible aka Homework Diary. Not the end of the world as kind friends filled in the gaps with what’s to be done, but who knows how you manage on Monday without one.
Nagging and not nagging doesn’t really help me with our Lost Property Challenge does it. I’m sure I didn’t lose stuff at school. Everything was named and everything came home. However much I nag or ask them to remember things they might not. I wonder if we should introduce a No Lost Property and No Nagging Incentive Scheme. If I don’t nag I get points and if they don’t lose things they get something? Ideas from Successful Parents out the other side of the Nagging and Lost Property Maelstrom would be much appreciated.