You’re Welcome

IMG_1685With my oldest son out of the house more than he’s in this summer, my two youngest have been left to their own devices; and often their own devices is code for “shenanigans.”  They’ve been scrappy, at odds with one another, and not always inclined to play nice.

And, of course, the consequences have been flying.  I am a huge fan of “natural consequences”—you don’t want to wear your coat, then your consequence is that you’ll be cold—but natural consequences are not always readily available, practical, or reasonable.  So there has been time apart and losses of privileges.   And surprise, surprise, these consequences do not always go over well.  Actually, they go over like the proverbial ton of bricks.  Complaining, bargaining, and arguing have become commonplace, which of course only exacerbates tension.

Then the customary compare and contrast made famous by siblings everywhere begins:  “Why are we in trouble so much and Oscar is not?  Do you like Oscar more than us?”

The answer is obvious, but it was time for a conversation:

“Why do you think Oscar is not getting into as much trouble as you are this summer?”

“Because you like him more than you like us?”

“No, it’s not that.  What else could it be?”

“Because he’s older.”

“There is some truth in that.  What else?”

“He’s a good person.”

“You’re good people, too.  You’re just making some mistakes.  How do you think Oscar got to the point he’s at—where he’s not making as many mistakes?”

“Because he’s growing up.”

“And part of growing up is learning from your mistakes.  Which is where Dad and I come in.  We’re here to help you learn how to be your best.”

“How do we learn how to be our best?”

“The consequences you receive for the behavior you should not be doing.  That’s how you learn.”

“We don’t like consequences, though. “

“No one does, but it’s how you learn.  So instead of complaining about consequences, maybe you should say ‘thank you.’”

“’Thank you????’”

“Yes.  How about ‘thank you for caring enough about us to set limits and boundaries and teach us right from wrong so we can grow into the best, most responsible people we can’?”

“Ummm . . . thank you?”

I’ll take it with a question mark and say in advance, “You’re welcome.”


3 thoughts on “You’re Welcome

  1. And sometimes it just comes to, “I’m the parent and you are the child. and that will not change.”

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