Heinous or Harmless – Sweatshirt

My son catches the school bus at 7.23 to take him to high school. The bus stops outside our house, and he leaves the house a few minutes earlier just in case the bus is early. Today it was a few minutes late. When he left I was putting a load of laundry in the washer so I didn’t see him leave, he just called out his goodbyes. As I passed by my front room window soon after I noticed he was waiting for the bus without a jacket or a sweatshirt. It was cold this morning, I was wearing a wrap at 7.50 while waiting with the little one for the bus, and I was still freezing. (The cars were dusted with a light frost!!)

I briefly considered going outside with his sweatshirt and making him put it on. But he was waiting with a friend (who WAS wearing a sweater) and I didn’t want to embarrass him. The boys have told me they can handle the cold a lot better due to their experience of the Montreal winters, and that just because I am cold, it doesn’t mean they are.

Would it have been so heinous and embarrassing for me to have brought him a sweater? Should I just let him freeze repeatedly until he learns his lesson? Is 15 old enough for him to make these decisions himself? Is wanting to have brought him a sweatshirt coddling him, or caring about him? Where does one draw the line?

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  1. my opinion—- he’s 15— let him make the decision himself. If he were truly cold he would have taken a sweatshirt. For my 3 year old twins, the “I’m cold, so you’re wearing a sweatshirt” is great, but for a 15 year old, I’d say it’s up to him.

  2. Nora says:

    At 15 he’s old enough to decide for himself. Either he’ll learn and take a sweatshirt next time or he’s really not all that cold. I had a friend in college from Duluth, MN and he used to run around Chicago in the winter in short sleeves and an unlined windbreaker. Apparently, Chicago winters were nothing.

  3. lady lock and load says:

    Alot of boys in the neighborhood do this….in the winter they run to shul without a coat. :( At fifteen I think you should let him decide if he needs one or not. It is very hard for us moms to cut off the apron strings because we love them so darn much, but this is part of letting them grow up.

  4. mrsmelissasg says:

    i agree with the other posters. at 15 he is old enough to decide for himself.
    and he is right, what is cold to him is probably less so than what is cold to you.

  5. Rifki says:

    In total agreement with the previous posters, however, I would add that we have always encouraged our kids to keep a sweatshirt in their schoolbag and/or locker, so that if they want/need it, it will be right-at-hand. Yes, you do end up having to shlepp it around (but that’s the price of Being Prepared — it’s like taking an umbrella, just in case…)
    Good luck trying to impart this message at 15, though! You might be able to convince the younger ones to start doing this.

  6. fille says:

    I think you showed responsible mummyhood by not bringing it to him. Not only because of the friend, but mainly because HE cannot learn responsibility if his mommy is always there to make up for what he does not do.

  7. batya from NJ says:

    Personally, I disagree with the above posters b/c sometimes kids (even 15 year olds) can benefit from a gentle reminder from mom to take their sweatshirt & I know this b/c I have a 15 year old son myself. What I would have done was to go out to him & say “hey, it’s pretty cold out here. do you want your sweatshirt?” & if he would have said “No mom, it’s ok, i’m fine” I would have left it at that but at least I would have given him the option. I would not have insisted that he wear it though b/c I wouldn’t want to embarrass him in front of his friend but sometimes kids (& adults) forget to take along a jacket especially if the sun is deceptively bright outside or if he has other things on his mind, or heck, even if he’s just too tired to think straight in the wee hrs of the morning…

  8. Mark says:

    Boys/men are different. I used to go out in shorts (just shorts) in the middle of winter to get the paper every morning. Even when there was snow on the ground!

  9. we would you have bothered him? if he were that cold, at 15 he knows enough to go back inside and get his coat.

    it’s interesting how different parents are bothered by different things. i couldn’t care less about my kid under/overdressing, but on theother things that don’t bother you do bother me.

  10. kisarita says:

    my college bf never wore a coat. on principle. he felt it was a sign of weakness.

  11. kisarita says:

    (now he does)

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