My Dad Ate My Homework

The voice on the other end of the phone was desperate. The voice on the other end of the phone was panicked. The voice on the other end of the phone was my daughter and she was about to be floored. On this day she called from school saying she’d left her homework folder at home… and I let her fail.

She asked me to bring the folder.
I put my foot down and said no.
She told me it would be MY fault.
I told her it was HER responsibility.
She hung up on me.
I felt like crap.

I thought about it for a long while. Sure, I could have brought her homework to school and saved her. But WHY. THIS was the real lesson. I made my case to other parents online. And then an amazing thing happened… everyone started telling me THEIR stories. Comment after comment came in from parents who had been there… or are there now. One parent said she had enabled her son for thirty years… but not anymore. Another parent said they did the same thing for their kids growing up and now their teens are organized and responsible. One parent summed it up as “stay consistent and persistent”. Then I heard from teachers who said “thank you” for making my child take responsibility for her actions. As one teacher eloquently put it: “school is a practice run for later in life and NO ONE is going to bail them out later”. So true.

It’s not easy making the tough parenting choices. This isn’t the big one. Hopefully it stays that way. I work with someone who often says “misdemeanors turn into felonies“… and the same can be true when it comes to kids’ behavior. How can we teach them responsibility and respect if we don’t hold them accountable for their actions?

Today it was fallout day. My daughter said with a snarky sarcasm of a 9 year old tween going on 15: “THANKS for bringing my homework to me yesterday dad”. I told her with the seriousness of a parent trying to do the right thing and teach the right lessons and prepare her for the real world, “you’re welcome”. The conversation ended.

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About dadmissions

author of Dadmissions. surrounded by a wife and two girls... and a dog named Cupcake
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13 Responses to My Dad Ate My Homework

  1. I dread the first time I have a conversation like this. You rocked it, and I’ll be thinking of this when it’s my turn.

  2. babymall says:

    See, my parents took it a step further. I was in third grade and we were doing our chick hatching unit, and we had to do a cut and paste paper project timeline of the development of the eggs. I left mine on the dining room table, and lo and behold, it disappeared. My dad threw my homework out because I didn’t put it away, and I got my very first B- in science at the tender age of 9. My teacher wouldn’t let me do it over, either.

  3. Another Day in Mommadise says:

    As a former educator who got asked several times a day to call and ask for home work to be brought, thanks for giving the RIGHT answer. Homework is totally the kids’ responsibility. Time to learn early!

  4. Nice job holding strong. I hope it does ultimately help her and a lesson is learned.

  5. It is important to teach kids responsibility no matter what the age. We are teaching our son that he is responsible for his actions. It is a hard lesson to teach.

  6. Sandy Ramsey says:

    I’ve micromanaged my kids from day one and finally had to stop. It’s exhausting and counterproductive. My daughter is in middle school now and because I didn’t start earlier making her responsible, the job is twice as hard now. Good for you, dad!

  7. Dave Lesser says:

    Man, you’re a jerk. Just kidding. I’m sure she’s already over it, but she’ll definitely remember to put her homework in her bag (until she forgets again, when she’ll know you’re not going to bail her out). Tough lesson, but important.

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