11 School Project Tips for Parents: #1 Bake Cookies

“If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?” – Albert Einstein

This week has been full of late-night High school projects. First communism and then a motor. Here are few things I learned along the way.

1. Bake cookies. Anytime you are faced with working on your own big project or helping someone else, home-baked cookies are a good thing to have on hand.

2. Procrastination: Skip the procrastination lecture. Don’t beat up yourself or your kid for putting off the project until the last minute. The longer you talk, the longer it will take. Eat a cookie and save your energy.

3. Sleep is overrated: Pushing through exhaustion can be exhilarating. A 26-minute catnap can help you press on.

4. Creativity: Projects are a great time to learn which of your neighbors stays up late (do you have a spare battery clip on hand?), how close the nearest 24/7 hardware store is, and how creative you can be at a Walgreens as the clock strikes midnight.

5. Natural consequences: For a my teen, the natural consequence for not planning ahead and waiting until the last minute to finish a project that is due the next day is spending a lot quality time with his mom, who once again will prove she is the only person in the world willing to stay up with him until 2:00 a.m. and hold wires together while he solders them.

6. Misery loves company: Keep your teen company. Helping your teen with a project at 1:00 a.m. is a bonding experience.

7. Have a fit: If things aren’t working, try throwing yourself onto the ground, pounding your fists and kicking your legs. After your fit is over, you’ll feel much better. Physical exercise releases endorphins.

8. Laugh: Don’t hold back. The whole idea of looking for a battery clip is much funnier at midnight than it is at 5:00 p.m. Trust me.

9. Avoid clichés. Michael Jordan missing 100 free throws has nothing to do with a motor not spinning like it should.

10. Harebrained ideas: Steal more chain than you can swim with, bite off more than you can chew, reach for the stars, you will never know until you try, just do it. The best money you will ever spend is money that supports a crazy idea. (I’m talking about $100.00 or so; let’s not be ridiculous.)

11.Ass: Any person that tells you while you are working with your kid on a last-minute project that you should appreciate every moment because soon enough you will be alone in the house with a cold soldering iron and dusty goggles is an ass.

Cole’s motor did not spin last night. It was a disappointing setback, but he planned to take the motor to school to troubleshoot it with his teacher. He already has an A in the class and the motor was extra credit. I tossed in bed long after Cole had gone to sleep, wondering why the heck the motor didn’t work…and then I dreamed of Michael Jordan’s mom watching him miss all those free throw shots!

Care to share about some of your more challenging project or add your own tip?

Odd Loves Company,


4 thoughts on “11 School Project Tips for Parents: #1 Bake Cookies

  1. You really made me laugh with your “ass” comment. And..I agree with you. After the shock of having the ” empty nest” syndrome wears of, it sure is nice to have peace and quiet and to just be a free spirit doing whatever tickles your fancy at the moment.

    • Carol, by watching you (teach dancing, have good friends, take painting classes). and my mom (train her dog, travel to dog shows, and enjoy her friends) and a few other empty nesters, I have caught on to the fact that having a life outside your kid(s) is so important. Cole is my everything right now but I am trying to plan for a time when my time is more my own..so both of us have stuff to talk about when we are together and he is free to go off and enjoy his life…knowing I am not sitting around waiting for his next visit. 😀

  2. Oh, Kb, you’ve taken me down Memory Lane with this one! And truly, it’s like we raised the same kid — mine was a procrastinator, too (just like his mother!). I recall waiting until the last minute to do a major term paper in high school, then crying until my dad bailed me out and typed the thing! Domer, too, waited until the last minute to do projects and papers and such, then expected me as the English major to bail him out. And yes, I always did — how could I do less, seeing as how it was soooo much fun staying up late with my creative kid, laughing ourselves silly, and snacking on pure junk?? The rewards were pretty nice, too — being the “mom who saved the day” and earning a high grade!!

    • It is fun staying up late and helping out and you’re living proof that you don’t look back on those times and regret it. And your right I hated school the first time around and never did well…but this time I am getting great grades and having so much fun.

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