I’ve gotten caught up in this trap of wanting to provide more, better, and bigger to my kids. I look back at my childhood and think about all the things and experiences my brothers and I didn’t have, and want things to be different for our children. I’ve never met a parent who hasn’t expressed the same desire.
The problem in this comes when I don’t know how to stick with taking something away from the children. Chores aren’t done? Rules broken? Get caught in a lie? Whatever the unacceptable behavior, I can’t seem to stick with the longer term punishments.
Last week, the children slacked off their chores in a pretty big way. Instead of making sure they felt the pain of their decisions… we loaded them up and took them to Six Flags for Frightfest on Friday night. Then, Saturday morning we all went to the pumpkin patch to pick out our pumpkins, have hay rides, eat homemade ice cream, and have lunch at the park. On Sunday, we ended up dropping them off at Six Flags again, just for a little peace and quiet.
Honestly, we’d have saved ourselves over $100 this weekend, just by making sure the children knew that there were consequences to their (in)action. From here on out, I’m doing my children (and my wallet) a favor by implementing some seriously painful restrictions that I STICK WITH whenever they break the rules. As we all know, they need realistic expectations for the real world… and in the real world… if you don’t do what you’re supposed to, you don’t get what you want out of it.
Have you fallen into this trap? Have any tips for helping me stick to it?