School has been in session for awhile now. My granddaughter Maddy is in sixth grade now and she is expected to take on a lot more homework and a lot more responsibility. It’s a good life experience for her but it’s not easy to convince her of that.
Maddy has ADHD and accomplishing anything seems to be such a chore. We are rewarding her when she 1) gets up on time and catches the bus, 2) finishes her homework (or at least gives it her best try before she asks for help), and 3) gets ready for bed in time to settle in before her second wind hits. Obviously, I can’t be with her during school to watch over her, so she also earns points when she remembers to write down her homework in her homework notebook for each class. She is also expected to unload the dishwasher each day and practice her flute and piano on alternating days.
But I do have to say that it is hard to get all these things done in the little amount of time we have each day. Sometimes I feel like we are spending so much time “getting things done” we miss the moments that we could be spending more time together, talking, praying, laughing, and having fun. Instead of allowance or filling out a chart for a material award, she earns points to do things that she loves to do: going to a movie, walking around town and checking out all the little shops, a long bike ride, finding shapes and funny faces in the clouds, or a special Saturday lunch at a favorite restaurant – just her and me.
Somehow we have to find time to do the “other” important things in life. I hope Maddy looks back at our life together some day and thinks that we did accomplish these things, in addition to learning “responsibility.”