Saturday, March 5, 2011

Had to pull a Dr. Wharton

In a recent parenting conversation with Dr. Paul Wharton, he shared of a time his family was driving to Disney for a pre-paid vacation.  During the drive, his children had several warnings about their behavior.  Despite the warnings, the inappropriate behavior didn't stop.  Dr. Wharton made the statement to his children that if the behavior continued, they wouldn't be going to Disney.  Sadly, it continued.  He got off at an exit and turned the car north to head back to Jacksonville.  His kids couldn't believe it.  Was their dad really going to not take them to Disney?  Was he going to walk away and lose the money from his pre-paid vacation?  Could they earn the trip back?  They pleaded with their father to let them earn the trip back.  If he would just head back to Disney, then their behavior would be superb.  But it was too late.  He had given them his word -- they would not be going to Disney if the behavior in the car continued, and he was sticking to his word.  So no Disney trip for the Wharton family that weekend.  (He said his wife was in as much shock as his kids. I'd imagine so.  LOL!)

Parenting is tough.  I believe, there is no job out there that will work you harder and pay you (monetarily) less, than parenting...but the rewards are so wonderful.  As a mom, if I sit back and think about my responsibility, I may completely have a panic attack.  It is my prayer that Lou and I are able to raise two Godly, responsible men.

Punishments are difficult.  Today one of my children (who will go unnamed) had a punishment that resulted in losing a privilege of going to the movies.  Both of my children adore going to the movies, so this was a big deal.  But without punishments, where will they learn about consequences and responsibility?

On Friday night, our children were told that if a certain behavior happened, they would not be going to see the movie, Rango on Saturday. Well, one of our children, displayed that forbidden behavior and was not able to go to the movies.  Could he have earned it back this morning?  Yes...  But if we always let our children earn back a privilege and not really make them have the consequence, will they grow up to be the responsible men that we are praying they will become?  I felt he should "do the time" (so to speak) of his consequence.  Therefore, one of our children went to the movie and the other one didn't.  We hope the lesson was learned.  Only time will tell.

It is difficult to punish your child when you see the disappointment in their face on losing the movie.  (The saying, "This hurts me more than it hurts you" began to resonate in my head.) It was a trying day; so I was relieved when I got a text from a friend.  She knew nothing of my day but her text said, "Had to pull a Dr. Wharton".  Of course, we talked immediately and went over both of our parenting dilemmas of the day.  At least, I know I'm not in this disciplining thing alone.  While I hated it for her child and for mine, it was comforting to know that many of us are trying to do the right thing.

Proverbs 22:6 Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.