I knew it was wrong…

I knew my son was doing his project wrong…and I didn’t stop him.

Helicopters mom everywhere will not be happy with me. But accountability and responsibility need to be taught very early on so…here’s the story.

Nico is in the first grade and he is extremely smart. Like “I can tell you all about the functions of white blood cells in your body” smart. But unfortunately, he’s like I was when I was in school…he thinks he knows what to do so doesn’t feel the need to listen and follow directions.  My grade school teachers are breaking their necks by nodding so hard right now 😉

So he gets this assignment to do…it’s a timeline of his life. Pretty cool huh? He picked out a bunch of baby pictures and other pictures from big moments of his life so far.  He wrote a little description for each picture. “DONE!”

I looked at this finished project and I noticed there was a BIG thing missing: the dates. Kind of important for a TIMELINE PROJECT.

“Nico, do you have everything on here you’re supposed to?”


“Nico, do me a favor…read through the instructions your teacher gave you one more time.”

“Mom! I did. Everything is right!”


I knew his project was not done right. I bet my parents felt the same way when I would turn in a ridiculous science fair project in grade school. “Will mold grow on a sandwich if it’s wrapped in colored Seran wrap?” Umm – yeah…I never placed well in science fairs. But at least I knew I did the projects all by myself.

Fast forward a few days and Nico brings home his project: 9 out of 12.

“What happened buddy?”

“I forgot the dates. You told me everything was good, mom.”

Umm nope. Not going to get thrown under a bus today, son.

So we had a lengthy talk.

Listen – I want my children to succeed. In school, in sports…in LIFE. Every parent wants that.

But I cannot control situations. I cannot be there to fix every error. I’m not Olivia Pope (for all of the Scandal fans out there).

If you get in trouble at school – you got in trouble. Mommy is not going to yell at the principal.

If you get a bad grade – there are consequences. Mommy is not going to reprimand the teacher.

If you don’t get a lot of playing time – then you need to take practice more seriously. Mommy is not going to blast the coach on social media.

If you are mean to a friend – then you are going to apologize to both your friend and their parents. Mommy is not going to do it for you.

If you insist you read the directions and you’re not rushing to just get it done – well, you get the grade you get. Mommy can’t fix that either.

There is nobody on this planet that I love more than my children.

But I love them far too much to make excuses for them.

I want my children to have character, integrity, honor and accountability. Those values need to be instilled at the very beginning.

So what some may think was a 1st grade assignment that I should have helped him with…I see much more.

I see an important life lesson that he will never forget.

6 thoughts on “I knew it was wrong…

  1. Good job Mom! They must learn life lessons throughout their whole lives! We need to teach our children exactly what you are teaching them. Kudos


  2. Thank You!!! Last year I had a sophomore in High School who does not take English seriously! He does not value homework lessons but Aces the end of semester test! The teacher emailed me to please encourage my son to finish his project, if he does not turn in he potentially will fail the class! (ummmm I have, but I’m not doing the work for him.) I explained to her that he makes his own choices, and aware of the consequences! He found no value in completing it and he failed semester 2 of English. Fast Forward to Junior year, 2nd semester English and enrolled with 2 English classes! (I see a pattern emerging) it’s end of semester and a email from the teacher…..”your son needs to turn in the project or he’s going to get a 0 and that will cause him to fail the class!” Yep been there done that! My email to her “FAIL HIM!” He obliviously didn’t learn the first time! I have forwarded the emails to my son so he is aware of what will happen! I am not sure how to make him value the importance of his education! OH that’s right I can’t make him do anything…sigh! Parenting is the hardest job ever!


  3. As a first grade teacher, I would just like to say, “Thank You!!” What you are doing is so right and will help your child grow to be a self sufficient adult. How I wish more parents would do this for their children. You are doing the right thing!!


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