What the heck am I talking about, you ask? Standing firm in your parenting decisions even if it means you may have to pay a price along with your child.
Transparent Topic: Sometimes parenting is embarrassing!
Let me paint the picture for you...
Hooray! Fall weather is coming and we get to break out our warm clothes. Hummm, I wonder if my kids have any clothes that fit from last year? Considering my daughter grew at least 4 inches this summer, it's a safe bet that absolutely nothing in her closet will fit this year. Guess I need to take her shopping.
Doesn't quite fit like it used to!
Saturday: "Let's go pick up a few shirts so you're not freezing tomorrow when the cold front comes through," says Mom. Shoulders slump, mumble, mumble, reacts daughter. Off to the mall we go and hey, let's bring grandma, i.e. Nonnie, along to enjoy the fun.
Mall scene: Okay, daughter, I know you don't like shopping so let's find just enough today to get you by and we'll save the bulk for another day. Mumble. Mumble.
Enter store #1: Wow! Record time. In and out in less than 2 minutes. That's what happens when you're staring at the floor and completely ignoring the plethora of clothes surrounding you.
Enter store #2: "Hey, this looks cute and I bet it'd look great on you," says Nonnie. Mumble. Mumble. Eyes avert to the floor.
Enter store #3: "Will you wear this?" asks increasingly frustrated mom. "NO! It's ugly and uncomfortable," mumbles wonderful daughter. "How do you know it's uncomfortable if you won't even try it on?"
Exit mall: No packages in hand and a fuming mad mother/daughter duo. Poor Nonnie!
At this point you're probably thinking this sounds par for the course, especially if you have a pre-adolescent daughter. Well, you're right, it's normal.
So here's the embarrassing part...We return home and I instruct happy daughter to go to her closet and pull out everything that no longer fits. I then ask her to evaluate what's left and show me what she plans to wear to church the next day.
Is it terribly wrong that I laughed at my own daughter when she told me the only thing in her closet that still fits is a Christmas shirt?! Oh, the natural consequences of our less than stellar attitude.
Guess what she wore to church the next morning?...Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way!
(Not her actual shirt but definitely one she needs.)
I honestly don't think she thought I'd actually make her wear it. Come Sunday morning we had made up, apologized and everything was good. So, naturally, she thought she could come grab something out of my closet and all is right with the world. I had a huge internal debate because I quickly realized that if I was going to make her learn this lesson then it was going to come at a cost to me too... embarrassment. Christmas in October. Enough said.
We both survived the day with only a few strange looks. I was pleasantly surprised that not a single person asked why she was wearing her Christmas clothes. Who knows what they were thinking though!
She sure lucked out that the forecast is warming up and she has another week or so before she has to break out her Santa shirt again.
What would you have done? Am I a mean mom? Have you ever let/made your kids do something embarrassing for the sake of learning a lesson?
Clearly...I need prayers. If my sweet daughter and I are going to make it through puberty then each and every one of you best say a prayer for us right now! But, the best thing is that I'm willing to pray for you too. It takes a village, right? Please leave me a comment or send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and let me know the struggles going on in your own life. I'd be honored to pray for you.