Which lesson will you teach?
Your child is misbehaving and:
A. You are too tired to do anything
B. You know that you want to yell but you don’t even have the energy for it
C. You know you should do something and you don’t know what to do
D. You’ve already nagged on this topic 4 times today
E. ALL OF THE ABOVE!
Sometimes it is easier just to do nothing. Sure, you could speak about the behaviour, offer a consequence and follow through. It even feels like that is what you should do… or at least make some plan so that it doesn’t happen again tomorrow. But parents have too much to think about right? Why is it always us who has to do this stuff?
So you decide that rather than teach your child a lesson about her behaviour today, you are just going to let it slide and teach the lesson another day, when you have the energy.
There is the problem…
It is easy to think that you will teach the lesson another day. The truth is; whether you decide to teach a lesson or not, you are teaching a lesson today. By letting behaviour slide, you are teaching your child that the behaviour is okay… especially when mom and dad are tired. In fact, that is the best time to get away with stuff.
The other day, a parent mentioned to us, “Life is too busy to watch everything that we are doing as parents right? I mean it can really add up.”
The truth is, our kids are watching everything we do. When we lie to a friend about why we can’t come to her party, or when we don’t return the extra change to the grocery store clerk, or when we just choose not to follow through, our kids are watching. They learn a lesson from us much of the time.
So how do we manage this because we can’t be on top of our game every minute of every day right?
We decide what’s important to us – values and vision (who do we want our children to be when they grow up?). Then we watch to be sure that we are living those values and let the other, less important ones slide. We can’t watch everything – we can choose what we let go.
As parents, we need to answer one of life’s biggest questions: Which lesson will you teach?