I knew my son was doing his project wrong…and I didn’t stop him.

Helicopters mom everywhere will not be happy with me. But accountability and responsibility need to be taught very early on so…here’s the story.

Nico is in the first grade and he is extremely smart. Like “I can tell you all about the functions of white blood cells in your body” smart. But unfortunately, he’s like I was when I was in school…he thinks he knows what to do so doesn’t feel the need to listen and follow directions.  My grade school teachers are breaking their necks by nodding so hard right now 😉

So he gets this assignment to do…it’s a timeline of his life. Pretty cool huh? He picked out a bunch of baby pictures and other pictures from big moments of his life so far.  He wrote a little description for each picture. “DONE!”

I looked at this finished project and I noticed there was a BIG thing missing: the dates. Kind of important for a TIMELINE PROJECT.

“Nico, do you have everything on here you’re supposed to?”


“Nico, do me a favor…read through the instructions your teacher gave you one more time.”

“Mom! I did. Everything is right!”


I knew his project was not done right. I bet my parents felt the same way when I would turn in a ridiculous science fair project in grade school. “Will mold grow on a sandwich if it’s wrapped in colored Seran wrap?” Umm – yeah…I never placed well in science fairs. But at least I knew I did the projects all by myself.

Fast forward a few days and Nico brings home his project: 9 out of 12.

“What happened buddy?”

“I forgot the dates. You told me everything was good, mom.”

Umm nope. Not going to get thrown under a bus today, son.

So we had a lengthy talk.

Listen – I want my children to succeed. In school, in sports…in LIFE. Every parent wants that.

But I cannot control situations. I cannot be there to fix every error. I’m not Olivia Pope (for all of the Scandal fans out there).

If you get in trouble at school – you got in trouble. Mommy is not going to yell at the principal.

If you get a bad grade – there are consequences. Mommy is not going to reprimand the teacher.

If you don’t get a lot of playing time – then you need to take practice more seriously. Mommy is not going to blast the coach on social media.

If you are mean to a friend – then you are going to apologize to both your friend and their parents. Mommy is not going to do it for you.

If you insist you read the directions and you’re not rushing to just get it done – well, you get the grade you get. Mommy can’t fix that either.

There is nobody on this planet that I love more than my children.

But I love them far too much to make excuses for them.

I want my children to have character, integrity, honor and accountability. Those values need to be instilled at the very beginning.

So what some may think was a 1st grade assignment that I should have helped him with…I see much more.

I see an important life lesson that he will never forget.