As I write this, my children are in their second day of the new school year. My son is now in fifth grade, and my daughter is (slight stomach twinge) a high school freshman. They are now attending separate schools (both still walking distance from home) and have separate schedules. And that has made all the difference.
After years of trying to drag my daughter out of bed to get ready for school, she suddenly has (with no prodding from her parents) no problem with setting her alarm and getting up at 5:30 to be out the door by 7. I actually had to stop my wife from suggesting she need not get up that early.
Since my son doesn’t need to rise until 7:30, my daughter has a peaceful, relatively private morning routine. She is having civil discussions with her mother as she gets ready to leave. Add this to her new-found sense of personal responsibility — thanks to her making the JV field hockey team — and she suddenly seems, well, a bit more mature.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s still room for improvements, but those improvements look all the more likely after seeing these end-of-summer changes.
For his part, my son also has a more peaceful morning routine, but I sense he actually misses his sister.
But so far, I’m enjoying the added peace.