I can’t speak for everyone, but I know that other mum’s who are good friends of mine agree that if you make a promise to your children it is very hard to go back on it. This is especially poignant when that promise is made to teach them a lesson. My younger son puts his knees through every pair of trousers he owns. This is not surprising when you see the state of his knees in summer when he wears shorts everyday. My brother attended a primary school that required the students to wear shorts all year round – even in winter. I am currently wishing that my boy’s school did the same to be honest, particularly for the younger grade boys.
I think we started this school year with 6 pairs of school pants for elder son, & 12 pairs for younger – yes that’s effectively 2 pairs a day. Of course I didn’t hang them all in his closet, that wasn’t the intention, I held half back. There are now, with still a full term to go until the end of the school year, only 5 pairs left. When he was in kindergarten last year I stupidly did not consider how abused his pants would be, therefore, after only being in full time school for 2 months I had to place an emergency order with grandma to bring several pairs of new pants from good old Marks & Spencer’s of course. This was when I made my promise to him, or to be truthful, my threat…
‘I can’t be buying new school pants for you every month. You need to take a lot more care when wearing your uniform. If you don’t start doing so, & you continue to wear out the knees of every pair of pants within a month, then I will buy you a girl’s tunic & you can wear out your own knees & not our bank account!’
My son was horrified. He has a Scottish friend at school who wore a kilt on international day. Apparently this friend appeared unhappy to be wearing a ‘skirt’ to school. My son was desperate to not look like a girl, so for a while he did take more care. However, I still didn’t trust this would last, so that’s why I ordered twice as many from grandma for this year.
It was pointed out to me by a mum at the school, a good friend who’s daughter is in the same grade, that if the problem does continue I will have to carry out my threat. She even offered to lend me one of her daughter’s tunics. As I mentioned, he is now down to a weeks worth of pants, & I still haven’t been brave enough to follow through. My friend suggested that I put him in the tunic when he gets dressed, but then allow him to change before going to school, then say that I will make him go to school wearing it if there are anymore ‘holy’ pants.
Well this evening I discovered that pair no.5 now also have holes. Help!!! What should I do? Do I borrow the tunic? Tomorrow is the last day before Spring break so no tunics will be worn until next term anyway, but will it have lost impact then? Or, do I just carry on making this threat, but not actually carry it out? Cleary it’s not working, so I shouldn’t really carry it on, I need to find another strategy, because buying 18 pairs of pants next year is definitely NOT happening!!