Daniel arrived home from school happy. He ate a snack and did his chores without any fighting or nagging. He even started his math homework promptly.
He asked for my help once. I told him I would help him on the first problem but that if he was in college I wouldn’t be there sitting and helping him with all of his homework. I was amazed that he didn’t fuss or complain. He didn’t try to bargain or convince me that he couldn’t do it without me. Instead, he listened carefully to my explanation of the problem and completed the homework on his own. Sitting at the computer next to him, I could hear him talking under his breath. He was telling himself about how he would need to do this on his own in college. He was retelling his story in a way that incorporated this new idea of independence.
I noticed that I was much calmer and my responses were more even. I didn’t feel like I was in a combat zone. I think it was because I didn’t feel responsible to make sure things got done. Changing my story changed our dynamic as well. Instead of the goal being Daniel completing the required agenda, the goal was Daniel taking care of his day and making his decisions on his own. In that way, we were successful.
Of course, there are lessons being learned too. Daniel chose not to read today, despite having it assigned by his teacher. He didn’t work on his RC reading either. He has 40 RC points due by January and currently has less than 10. He didn’t work on any of the three spelling assignments that will be due on Friday. He didn’t practice his multiplication or start studying for a major test he has on Friday. But like I said before, sometimes the consequences of life take a little while to show up. I see the perfect scaled down version of this lesson starting to build. I am hopeful this week will be even better than I had originally thought.