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Did I do the wrong thing letting her suffer the consequences of her tardies?

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So I have 5 kids. My high schooler always is on school on time and gets irritated with her SS because it was causing her to be late. My grade schoolers are late sometimes but I have set up with their counselor to have a rewards basis for being on time and so far so good. My SS always on time! My 13 year old DD, not the case. So last week I warned her that I would not be writing any more excuse slips for her tardies, she was making a habit of knowing if she didn't get up on time I would write a note (at that time it had been 2-3 notes total for the quarter). So I warned her ahead of time and she was late twice last week. She got detention and after she got out I had her walk home on her own (we live about 8 blocks from the school) even though I was still out getting kids and dropping them to practices and such. My thinking was she will get tired of having to walk home without her friends. 

So today comes and I go in to wake her, because she still didn't set an alarm, even though she said she would. I came home from dropping the younger kids and she still wasn't ready (today it was pouring rain so I didn't want her to walk) so she said 10 minutes. 15 minutes pass and she still isn't ready. We get to the school and she has 2 minutes until the bell for her class rings (she will be late again). She begged and pleaded for me to write her a note. I said no, she fought with me, and cried and told me she would get a referral (which means it will go on her permanent record, she is in 7th grade). She used the excuse that because it will go on her permanent record the teachers will from this point on think she is a "bad" kid. I almost gave in. Then I remembered last week she begged for a slip and said my ex-husband, her dad, told her if she got one more tardy he was going to take me back to court to get custody of them. He won't, just for the record, that would cramp his style and cost him too much money. He never fought for custody of our kids when he left, only not to pay so much money for them. I got home and I feel bad. The other side of me though feels she needs to learn this lesson while she is in 7th grade rather than once she is out in the real world and a boss has to deal with her lateness. I told her my mom always fixed everything for me and it did me no favors in life and that I am not going to fix this for her, that I hoped she could see that she was responsible for this. She will miss a half day of school on referral, in house suspension. Did I take it too far? What would you have done or what do you do as a parent with kids that show early signs of not being able to be responsible to get to places on time? I don't want to raise is child who can't get to school and work on time without Mommy being there to wake her and dog her into getting ready. 

by on May. 21, 2012 at 12:51 PM
Replies (51-52):
by Member on May. 24, 2012 at 12:15 PM

 Not only should you not write any more excuses (unless it's legitimate-like a dentist appt), you should have made her walk in the rain.  I lived nearly 2 miles from school in middle school and we walked back and forth every day, no matter what the weather (and we lived in Seattle, where it rains a lot-and in the winter heavy, frigid rain.)  I was never late once.  I wouldn't have just gotten in trouble at school, I would have been grounded too.  But, stop using your mom as an example.  Then, your dd feels like she's missing out on something good that you got.  That argument is backfiring.

by on May. 24, 2012 at 2:15 PM

I think you did the right thing.  Next time she doesnt want to get up, make sure you hand her a good book to read while she spends another day in ISS. 

Stay firm, dont give in.  Good luck!

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