8 Things You Should Do to Make Your Kids More Self-Reliant at School

I like to teach my kids one positive thing each day of their miserable little lives.  Going to school is an excellent way to show them how to overcome adversity; the adversity that I help make for them!  Sure, you could home school your kids (and I admire anyone who takes that challenge on…but really I can barely take care of myself and you want me to teach my kids something?  Isn’t that what the TV and the Internet is for?) but then you’d miss out on using these 8 Great Parenting Tips.

I created this helpful list that will make sure your kids learn something at school besides “book smarts”.  These eight great parenting tips will make them learn “street smarts” as well teach them some common sense.  Actually, we live in the suburbs so they might not learn “street smarts” but I would argue it will make them more self-reliant (totally awesome skill to have…especially when their father clearly doesn’t care about them).

  1. Forget to give them Lunch Money (or put money in their lunch account).  Have you ever forgotten your lunch at home or forgot money to buy a lunch? Why not give that same experience to your kids?  Remember how you had to beg others for spare change or maybe get an apple from them so you wouldn’t starve?  Once you “forget” the lunch money, your kids will learn how to negotiate with their friends to get something to eat.  Trade a favorite pen for three raisins?  Great deal!  Is your kid shy?  Hungry is a great way to motivate your child to overcome their shyness, learn to talk to others, and get something to eat!
  1. Forget to Turn in their Field Trip Permission Slip.  I always remembered the poor kid that had to stay behind in the main office while the rest of the class went on an awesome field trip.  Even if the place we were visiting sucked big time (like the sewer plant), we’d still come back and tell that loser kid that it was the best field trip we had EVER been on.  It was great.  We could say things like “Remember that time on the field trip when…Oh, yeah.  You didn’t go on it.  I bet you still had fun back at school, sitting in the main office, doing worksheets, having a school lunch with the secretaries.” Loser.
  1. Forget to pick them up after school.  Kids are always running late and taking forever to do things (like put their shoes on….even after you told them ten times you were leaving in five minutes).  They are always making you late or holding you up.  This is the time to return the favor.  I usually wait until it is pouring down rain and then “forget” to pick them up.  Nothing like spending 15 minutes in a cold downpour to teach them about being prompt and on time.  Which leads us into:
  1. Have them underdress/overdress for school activities (or the weather).  Don’t you hate it when you leave the house, it is nice and sunny outside, then it turns miserable and you are underdressed?  Or you forget your raincoat and it is pouring down rain?  You should always send your kid out in the wrong outfit.  Is it cold out?  Have them wear flip flops and shorts.  Is it blazing hot?  Make them wear a wool sweater and long pants.  Pretty soon they’ll learn to pay attention to the weather forecast and figure out what to wear.
  1. Miss their School Parent-Teacher Conference.  By now, you know if your kid is smart or as dumb as a box of rocks.  They need to learn that you are way too busy to waste time talking with their teacher about how good (or bad) they are doing.  That is what the phone or email is for.  Why do you really need a face to face conference with a teacher who your kid is only going to see for 9 months?
  1. Don’t send them with School Supplies.  Again, if they learned anything from my suggestion #1, they should be able to get by without you wasting any more money on school supplies.  Teachers know that at least one kid isn’t going to be bringing school supplies; that is why teachers ask for so much.  Your kid should know how to beg or borrow or trade for their school supplies.  This builds negotiation skills they’ll when they need to buy a car later in life.
  1. Forget School Photo Day.  One of my personal favorites (since I am a school photographer).  Nothing like being in the school yearbook looking like a clown because your parents didn’t brush your hair and you worn that dirty T-Shirt.  Your kids will love to be used as an example by other parents when their little brat argues with them about what they are wearing on School Photo Day.  They can flip open the yearbook, point to your kid’s photo and say “See?  Do you want to be like this kid?  He looks like he fell out of a garbage can!  I bet he smells like it too.”
  1. Don’t save/pay for their College Education.  Do you want your kids to feel entitled?  This is what happens when you save up for college.  Worst yet, you pay for college without saving for it.  This is probably the worst gift you can give your kids.  They are going to off to college without a care in the world, they are going to party up, and they won’t be paying for it.  Is that preparing them for the future?  Are they going to study harder when they are paying the college tuition bill or when you are paying for it?  Are they going to care more or less about getting good grades when they are paying that huge tuition bill or when you are doing it?  Teach them something about the responsibility by making them pay for college themselves.

Don’t hold back on making sure your kids learn how to be self-reliant in life.  Review these eight simple parenting tips and commit them to memory.  Make sure you are being the best parent you can be by reading my blog for future great parenting tips.

What do you think about 8 Things You Should Do to Make Your Kids More Self-Reliant at SchoolFeel free to leave your sarcastic comments.  You know you want to…