Sunday, August 3, 2014

A Lesson On Consequences

As any decent parent should, I teach my children that their actions and words have consequences. Today was no different, but I'm fairly certain today's consequences were the toughest for my six year old to swallow. Every weekend we try to have one Family Fun Day and take the kids out and about. We have a Summer To Do list and a list of our favorite places to visit that we chose from for our Family Fun Day outing.

At times, our oldest will respond "I don't want to go anywhere. I just want to stay home and play with my toys." Anytime we've done that in the past is met with a grouchy boy on Monday morning when I inform him we aren't doing anything. Typically when he gives me that line, I tell him to get dressed, push him out the door, and we all have as good of a time as we can with a six, four, and two year old.

Today when he gave me that response, I had heard enough. "Okay, fine, we won't go anywhere." He was temporarily happy and we made a pretty amazing breakfast, so I was fine with it too. Cut to late afternoon, as the kids played in little pools in the backyard in the warm sunshine. "Mom, I wanted to go to a beach today!" whined my six year old.

I was pretty proud of myself for calmly saying (although with a smug smile on my face because I was in fact correct about his inevitable reaction): "well Max, that was the plan for today remember? A hike at the lake followed by swimming at the beach and a lunch out. BUT you said you didn't want to go anywhere. You said you wanted to stay home, so that's what we did." His bottom lip started to quiver and I stopped him before he could even start, "this is what happens when you don't think things through. You said you wanted to stay home so we did. We didn't go to the lake or the beach. Maybe next time we suggest to go do something, instead of arguing, and saying you don't want to go, you'll think about it." He gave me a disappointed "oookkkaaayyy," complete with a long sigh and went back to playing in the yard.

Usually there's a full on tantrum accompanying his disappointment, but I'm quite certain today was the first time ever he took his little lesson to heart. Our six year old understood his consequences for the words he spoke. As much as consequences can suck, I do plan to ease the suckyness with a surprise road trip next weekend.

What are some consequences your kids have had to deal with? What did you do to teach them?

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