Monday, September 15, 2008

Consequences

I'm not even sure I've spelled that word correctly. Maybe because we don't use it enough in our family. You may have noticed that our kids' lives are one big party after another. Night of Joy, weekends with Meme and Grampa Carlie, friends over, sleep overs, park days, Disney, vacations, field trips, etc...etc... They do have chores, school work and responsibilites (and we have had to deal with more hospitalizations than one family should have to and too many funerals in the past 4 years). For the most part, however, they lead a pretty fun "cushy" life. They are really good kids and they generally appreciate all of the "good things in life". But they are kids and sometimes they make bad choices. Sadly, sometimes those bad choices go without consequences because we already have a commitment to be somewhere. We can't for example say "you must stay home all day" when there is a play that night and the rest of the cast is counting on them. Last spring we had tickets to a baseball game (mostly because Jake was really getting into baseball), but he behaved really badly on the way down there. It would've been the perfect time for the consequnce of not getting to go, but we already had the tickets, the other two deserved to go, and it was in the 90's outside and impractical and unsafe for me and Jake to stay in the car (and if we went somewhere else instead that too could be considered a reward). Anyway, he got to go to the game even though he didn't deserve it. Well tonight was an opportunity to actually enforce consequences. We were going to get to stay at a hotel with our friends tonight (who had won a two night stay at a Theatre raffle). I think everyone is overtired from another weekend of so much fun and activity, and we didn't have a very good day. We are not at the hotel tonight, but instead going to bed very early at our own house. They still have the possibility of meeting our friends at Hollywood Studios tomorrow, but they must show me, that they deserve it and will appreciate it. We'll see how it goes.

9 comments:

Leisa said...

I can so relate to this post. I often feel that staying home and canceling our plans is very difficult because we RSVP'd or are hosting or counted on in some way. Our kids really do live the charmed life when I look back on how many different experiences they enjoy.

And I love that we are able to provide it and be there with them to participate. One of the many joys of staying together day in and day out as a family.

It sometimes puts a crimp in doleing out the right discipline, though!

I hope the kids are good tonight and you all can scoot down to Disney tomorrow. A good nights sleep will do wonders...

cindy said...

I think this is the hardest part of being a parent, having to make decisions like this. But I agree, there do need to be consequences at times for bad behavior, no matter how much whining, crying, etc. this produces. Good luck, I hope tomorrow is a better day and you do get to enjoy Disney.

bfarmmom said...

One year I cancelled the kids trick or treating. I had warned them all day that their behavior was going to ruin it for them, and well, they continued and I cancelled. They couldn't believe it. (New costumes and everything.) Boy did they shape up after that though.
The funny thing is though, they did not wig out like I thought they would. They new they had crossed the line.

chewhi said...

good post! keep it up... it still works as they get older even. They may have more ways of getting around but knowing they still have to answer for their decisions helps them so much.

ann marie said...

I have a hard time with consequences.
One time we left the grocery store, with a huge cart full of food we very much needed, right in the middle of the store. They were being so bad and asking for so much stuff and I had warned me several times and I could feel myself on the verge of screaming. Not a good thing to do in a store. So I said that's it and left. They were shocked, but it worked. They hardly ever misbehave in the store and if they do I say "remember when" and they stop.
I hope they got to go to Disney today.

crispy said...

Good for you for following through with the discipline. It is hard though.

I remember saying that we wouldn't go to the fair for some kind of naughty behavior and the moment I said it I regretted it. It was a punishment for ME. Ugh. I had to follow through though. And I did.

Smith Schoolhouse said...

good for you. sometimes it's just finding the right consequence at the right time.

I am so behind on blogs and trying to get caught up- still have a long way to go- you've been one busy family!

Randi Sue said...

This reminds of a book a heard about on Focus on the Family, by Kevin Leman. It is called" Have a different child by Friday."

One of the 10 points was Keep your mouth shut just give the consequence.

Of course, another was Be consistent.

I have requested the book at the library.

5Gustos said...

It's neat how so many things I'm going through with my family *right now*, I read that somebody else has posted about the very same thing! I was very sad to have to dole out a consequence for tomorrow because of my kids' majorly sorry behavior for the last 2 days. I think I wanted to go to our friends' house more than they did. Now I'm the one that's bummed. I hope it works for them. (You know: the consequence.)