My dad wrote this section in his new book, about me. I hate the story, but it did teach me a lesson – I was so embarrassed that I have never been late again, since that day…
A while ago, we had a challenge with our youngest daughter Megan. She was consistently late and seemed to have an I-don’t-care attitude. We spoke and pleaded, but every morning she was late and that in turn delayed the others that were in the school lift club with us. Then we decided on a consequence. “Megan, if you are late again, I will leave you behind and then I will call the headmaster of your school and explain to him that we are having a challenge with you every morning,” I said in a stern but loving voice.
Well, that worked for a few days and then things went back to normal; Megan was her normal late self. My wife and I had no option but to follow through with our promise. You see, kids are testing the boundaries all the time and if there are none or very few, they will just keep going. To have a well-balanced and respectful child, you need to teach them that there are boundaries in life. If you want a well-balanced adult, you need to set the rules while the child is still quite young. So, it was time to follow through. I will never forget the look of absolute disgust on Megan’s face as she peered through the kitchen window, just in time to see us whizzing down the driveway without her.
The next step, as promised, was to call the principal. Although I explained to him that the offence wasn’t that serious, he agreed that it was worthwhile teaching the child a great life lesson. The next day Megan was called in to the headmaster’s office. Well, I don’t know about you, but I always found that terrifying. Having to explain to him about an incident that happened at home which therefore affected her at school was just what the doctor ordered. Since that day, we haven’t yet had to repeat that lesson.
That’s pretty much how life works as well. If you are late for your train, bus or flight, you will get left behind and you will need to explain what happened to either your boss, partner or be late for your appointment, but somewhere along the line you will have to face the music, as they say. If you teach your kids these consequences early in life, they may not have to experience them later.
Remember the goal here: to raise respectful well balanced stable children that flourish and go into the world well prepared with a strong foundation.
My parents can be strict – but I have to realise it is only for my, and my sisters own good. What kind of adults would we become without them?
Excerpt from my dad, Des Werner’s book – “What They Believe”