Tuesday, October 4, 2011
I consider it all joy...sometimes
I consider parenting a great joy in my life, but yesterday was one of the less than joyful moments. Hannah was having some behavior issues, giving me an attitude when she was told to do something. I said if she didn't straighten up she couldn't play soccer.
Long story short, I caught her slapping her sister and knew I had to follow through. I cannot describe how much I hated having to go through with this punishment. I took no pleasure in it at all. It was the last game and Hannah has been loving soccer.
At our Strong-Willed Child bible study last Wednesday, a woman in class talked about a friend's teenage daughter who got her car taken away for lying about where she was going to be one night. This girl knew she would have her car back in less than a week, because her parents never followed through with any prior punishments. I could have called off the punishment thinking I would go through with it the next time, but it would no doubt have gotten harder and harder to do. Before I know it Hannah and Autumn will be teenagers and well aware of the pushover I had become. I emailed her coach, and his wife responded saying she understood and respected my follow-through since so many parents don't do that. I really appreciated that bit of encouragement.
I told Hannah I let her coach know she would not be at the game, and she acted like a big girl. I was quite proud of her. While at the time it was so hard to do, I have absolutely no regrets! I hope I can encourage all parents to follow through and make your statements more than just empty threats. Your kids may claim to hate you, but they will come to respect you and definitely won't forget having to miss out on that one thing they love.