Tag Archives: Me and Thee Studios

Consequences Really Do Matter

Some weeks are just more difficult than others.

Bailey (a freshman at our local university) often comes home several hours after Franklin and I have gone to bed.   Late one night a couple weeks ago he hit our house as he pulled into the garage.  There was quite a bit of damage to the garage frame and the garage door stripping.

That same week our youngest was invited to our babysitter’s house to work for a little bit of spending money.  When Franklin and I explained that he should save some of his money rather than making a spur of the moment trip to Walmart, Caden threw a fit.  His money was burning the proverbial hole in his pocket.  He was obviously in need of a nap and a wee bit of behavior modification.

As we considered each situation a teachable moment, we were certainly reminded that Consequences Really Do Matter.

consequences

Sometimes it’s painful to watch children as they wrestle with consequences.

As a teacher, I did not delight in a child missing recess; however, I knew that I would not have to say, “You played during work time so you’ll need to work during play time,” too many times before the child made better decisions about time management.

In my final years of public education, I met many parents who were unwilling to allow consequences of any kind.   It was difficult for some to understand that the sting of natural consequences for a child’s minor infractions would be preferable to their child never learning self-control.  Ultimately, consequences of childhood misbehavior pale in comparison to  consequences adults deal with when the offense is more significant.

Growing up I loved the movie The Parent Trap.  I am a twin and I was drawn to the main characters, a set of twin, “tween” girls.  Although they were separated as babies and were never told of the other’s existence, the girls put two and two together at summer camp after several weeks of all out war with each other.

Miss Inch, the camp director, became exasperated with the girls’ constant fighting.  She decided to “let the punishment fit the crime” and put the girls alone in a cabin to spend the rest of the summer together.

Back to our sons.  Bailey had to learn that personal property requires care and attention.  We let him fix our garage frame and stripping, paying for the necessary materials and supplies with his own money.

Caden had to learn that saving some of his money is important.  We collected all of his money and held it for a while in an effort to show him that 1) Wal-Mart on a whim is a want, not a need and 2) saving (rather than blowing every penny on junk) allows you to purchase something of greater value down the road.

How do you use teachable moments in parenting?  Have you found great ways to “let the punishment fit the crime?”

Diligence Really Does Matter

I really didn’t want to do it, we didn’t have to do it, and we could have easily justified not doing it. To be perfectly honest with you, what I really wanted to do was buy a new car.

I’m usually the strong one, but this past week I almost caved.  For a month or so I could quite literally smell the leather of every new car that passed me.  Every vehicle looked appealing because I’m driving an 8 year old mini-van with a missing hubcap.

Franklin’s quick to bring up our car’s faults (I like to refer to these as her “character”).  He will start car-shopping the minute I give the green light.

I’m typically quick to defend her.  She’s paid for and has never left us stranded.  She’s super spacious, gets fairly good gas mileage, and has kept her paint job intact.  In fact, I told Franklin several days ago, “I need you to defend the van (“her”) for me.  I’m about to cave!  I know you’d like nothing more but I really need you to be the strong one here!  Defend the van without laughing and make me believe you mean it even though I know you don’t!  I need you to be the good cop here!”

This summer we contracted with a private school that began using our curriculum in their PK, K, and 1st grade classrooms.  We received payment this week.  Coupled with our Emergency Fund, we could have purchased a nice family vehicle, but we didn’t.

We have a plan.  We’re going to pay off the house (I say as I lower my voice an octave and boldy assert with as much resolve as I can muster).  I’m giddy as I anticipate walking into Wells Fargo, paying the last little bit, and shouting, “We’re debt free!”  And I’m equally giddy to see how God plans to use the income He frees up.

We’re pretty disciplined.  We’ve been intentional about our personal finances for many years, but handing that check to the teller today was really difficult for me.  It’s a picture of opportunity cost.  I intentionally chose to keep my mini-van for another couple of years as we gave the mortgage a hook to the jaw today.  If we’ve learned one thing in slowly walking out of debt it’s that Diligence Really Does Matter.

uplander

 As a teacher I’ve seen diligence bear fruit time and again.  A child who is diligent to practice a new skill will gain proficiency.  It will likely not happen over-night (and neither will losing weight nor dumping debt) and the sooner we help our children understand that the better.

I have countless memories of our oldest practicing for piano Guild auditions every Spring.  Each year his piano music required a little more skill than the previous year’s.  He is now a freshman at our local university and I am blown away when he sits down to practice piano.  My, how 12 years of diligence has paid off for Bailey.

How have you taught your children that things worth having in life will often require patience and hard work, diligence and dedication?