On March 14, I promised to keep you posted on the ongoing saga of “Will-He-Make-Me-Late-Today?” About a week after I wrote that blog, I stopped by my son’s room on a Wednesday evening. “Do you know what tomorrow is?” I asked. “Yes,” he said with a sigh. “It’s a Stressful-Early-Day.” That’s all I needed to hear. The next morning we were up and out the door exactly on time.
But there’s been a new development in the process: his baseball coach has been requiring before-school study halls at 7:00 on Wednesday mornings. Can’t you just feel the temptation I’m facing? On the Tuesday night before the first study hall, he reminded me, “We need to leave by 6:30 tomorrow, Mom.” I raised my eyebrows at him and he quickly said, “I know, I know. Now it’s my turn to have a Stressful Early Day!”
I so wanted to dawdle and make him late, just so he could see how it feels. But I have to remember that I am the adult here. Besides, what would making him late prove? Just that I hold all the power, and he really doesn’t need me to keep throwing that in his face. The point is that he now understands the tension I experience at the thought of having to face someone in authority after arriving late.
Empathy: it’s a two-way street. Teaching it to teens is just as important as showing it to them.