My daughter, who will be 10 years old in December, is becoming quite sassy. That’s a nice way of saying that she’s starting to talk back. A lot.
Her attitude lately reminds me of when she was three and she began to use the word “no” in every sentence. Except now it is accompanied with enormous sighs and eye rolling.
At her school’s open house a few weeks ago, her teacher stressed the importance of responsibility to the 4th grade parents. She instructed us not to help the kids remember their homework, or help them pack their backpack, or lay their clothes out. She told us that it’s time they start doing those things on their own. I agree.
So part of the problem is that we are trying to get her to be more independent and she’s not quite sure what to make of it.
Last night, when we couldn’t find her gym uniform anywhere, she realized she had left it crumpled in the bottom of her backpack. I have told her, somewhere around a thousand times, that she must empty her book bag when she gets home from school. Mostly it’s to force her to put her ice pack back in the freezer so she doesn’t have to eat warm tuna for lunch the next day.
Since I have repeated this rule over and over again, and because I had just done all the laundry only to find she had been holding onto one, wrinkled, dirty shirt, I decided punishment was in order. Something had to be done to make her get into the habit of taking care of her stuff.
I said, “Because you didn’t empty your backpack again, and because you’re not taking care of your gym uniform like you’re supposed to, then you’re not allowed to watch TV for three days.”
And Miss Sassy replied, “Instead of three days, can you make it a week?”
Oh Sweetie, you bet I can.