Harm Jagerman

Who needs an agenda?

Planning is something my kids are very good at. They think so. When it turns out not to be the case, my question is for the umpteenth time: “Who needs an agenda?”


Independence. Let’s start with that. My children would like us to give them more independence as parents. So we do. We do add that it is useful when you use tools.

You have to look critically at independence. No, it’s not total mayhem in our house. It’s not a matter of “Well, good luck and have fun!” Our kids are eleven and fourteen years old. So if we were to do so, it would lead to mayhem and chaos. For instance, it would probably lead to spontaneous ‘sickness’ in the morning because the oldest finds mornings well, let’s say difficult. There would be no problem any more on the other hand, when it would come down to screen time. It would definitely be the end of the endless discussions about the time to end the favourite games that can ‘never’ be saved at those moments we make stupid suggestions to start dinner.

No, not that kind of independence…

Limited extent

There is independence to a limited extent. Yes, yes, boundaries and limitations. All those things I cursed my mother for doing when I was younger. All the same, things we now tell our children, with the exception that we tell ourselves that we do this better. So this limited extent is far better compared to when I was younger. All because I just say so. There is however one glitch in the matrix here. Giving children more independence means more responsibilities. Everyone knows more responsibilities mean more things to remember.

Há! There’s your glitch! Well, their glitch that is!

We all know that our brains aren’t the same as these supercomputers that are used by companies like Google or any other big tech company. If we don’t write things down, there is a chance that we will forget things. When it comes to school, that’s homework.

After four weeks in the new school building, the eldest found out that an agenda is indispensable. Especially when you make an appointment with someone else to work on something that requires some sort of preparation in advance. Try explaining that for the third time why your ‘supercomputer brain’ missed that appointment…

The youngest found out today that it was so convenient to catch a ride to school today, instead of riding her bicycle. It was only a disappointment because she actually needed her bike because the rest of her classmates were going somewhere. So she had to borrow a bicycle from someone from another class.

When saying goodbye, I suggested she could have written this down in a diary. She agreed with me on that one. Not only that. She asked how I came up with this brilliant idea.

Since we had to go to the store that afternoon anyway, because the oldest had lost her charger for her phone (it had magically disappeared), I promised that we would look for a calendar that afternoon. We would therefore look for an agenda for the eldest because I understood that he had forgotten another appointment.

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