1/24/13

Raising People

This story actually begins 14 years ago... when Husband was just a scrawny 15 year old, that got completely shit faced hammered at a 16th Birthday Party.

Husband can't remember too many of the details, thanks to a large bottle of Gin and Juice that he drank in the woods right before the party... classy, right?

Anyway, Husband basically got rip roaring drunk, and had to leave the party early when my Father in Law picked him up, and drove him home to sleep it off.

The next day, my In Laws took Husband to buy some flowers, and then drove him across town to the home of the girl whose party he had gotten so shit faced at.

Husband knocked on the door, and handed the flowers to the girl's Mother, before apologizing for being such a mess at their party.

This story has stuck with me for more than a decade, because I just love how my In Laws handled it.

They knew that this behavior was out of Husband's character, and saw it as an opportunity to teach him a lesson about being a good person, and acting accordingly.

Well... last week history repeated itself up in Our Tiny Place. Minus the Gin & Juice.

I took Lovebug to a large playgroup with kids and parents from his school.

For such a well behaved boy, he pretty much acted like a brat the entire time.

It is so rare that Lovebug acts out, that I honestly took personal offense to his attitude.

I know for sure that we are spoiled with his good behavior, to the point where when he acted out... I wasn't embarrassed, I was caught off guard... and MAD.

We hold our children to a very high standard behavior wise... we just more or less explain that this is how we behave, and that's that.

I know that he is only three, and that these things happen... and if I'm going to be honest, for as mad as I was that he misbehaved in front of all those people; he wasn't actually THAT bad.

I have for sure seen other children act much worse, but Husband and I decided to turn this into a teaching moment, rather than compare bad to badder, and let it roll.

The first thing we did was take his toys away, all of them, for one day.

We had a, "Books Only," home for an entire afternoon, evening, and following morning.


At first he was sad about the toys, and then he forgot because he has ninety billion books, and got tons of one on one time while we read every last one in the house.

He also knew that he would get all of his toys back, AFTER he gave a flower and apologized to the Mother who hosted playgroup.

Yup... we went there.

We bought her a metal flower that said, "Be Mine," (the alternative was, "Kiss Me,"... which is weird)... we rehearsed and role played 100 times before the big apology happened at preschool drop off the next day.

I was trying to be discreet, but couldn't let a moment like this pass us by, so I snagged a quick picture of Lovebug and his flower right before his big moment.


Walking into school he kept telling me, "It's the right thing to do Mom... when you mess up, you say you're sorry."

It took everything I had to not plaster his face with kisses right then and there for being so freaking cute.

Boyfriend was super excited to hand over the goods, and marched right up to that Mom as soon as he saw her...

He thrust the flower into her face and said, "I'm sorry I misbehaved at your house."

She promptly crumpled into a ball of, "OMG this is so damn cute," and squished him in a giant bear hug.

Her kids were like, "What the WHAT is happening right now?"

I was THRILLED that he didn't turn around and ask me for all of his toys back... and more importantly, that he had learned his lesson.

Boyfriend told both teachers about what had happened, and about how important it is to, "Make things right by saying sorry."

When we got home, he got all his toys back, plus 1,000 hugs and kisses for doing the right thing.

I don't think we were too hard on him, and I am super proud of him for understanding that he had done wrong, and needed to fix it.

Because at that end of the day... we are doing more than just wiping noses, and giving baths.

We are trying to raise more than just good kids... we want to raise good people; that know the importance of right and wrong, consequences, and putting your best foot forward.

People than can look others in the eye and know that they have acted appropriately, and accordingly... with kindness, respect, and love.

Even if we had to muddle through a bad day to get to a good one... it was worth it... and we are so proud.


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14 comments :

  1. I just love your blog. You either make me laugh or you make me say "damn. I'm totally doing this when tay gets older." Either way, I always end up winning.

    Thank you.

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    1. Agree!

      You guys are awesome parents raising awesome children! I love how you handled this and how Lovebug accepted his "punishment" and that you have to make things right!

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  2. I love the message it sends to apologize and bring flowers. Way to go, Mama! My friend had another good idea - her daughter donates old toys to underprivileged kids every holiday season. My friend explained to her daughter that some kids don't have toys, so now her daughter is excited every year to give back. Good stuff, good stuff.

    http://www.chezglaser.com

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  3. Love this and will definitely use in the future with my two year old. Thank you for sharing!

    Kristen

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  4. That IS adorable. Job more than well done, I'd say!

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  5. I hope I remember this one day... because my child is crazy pants at times... and I am sure I will need this tip.

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  6. Thank you for being one of those parents who holds their children to higher standards than just saying "well that's just because they're x years old. That's what kids do." Because then they stay kids when they grow up... so yeah. Thank you for teaching your kids how to be people, not kids.

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  7. I love this! You did a beautiful thing by your son. It is what I plan on doing for my son as well. I find it to be so important to hold them to high standard and maintain a level of discipline. It may seem harsh to some, but it pays off in a very long run.

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    1. You're totally right... I was expecting people to tell me I am being too hard on a 3 year old... but it's important for them to learn right and wrong... how will they know if we dont teach them?

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  8. Mother of the year nominee!! That's great that he "got it". On the occasion that my kids stole things from friends (it will happen), we marched them back to the house to return said item and to apologize

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  9. Wow, I'm so impressed. He's learning by doing and that's super important at this age. He sounds so sweet.

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  10. Oh, love this blog. Very impressive! You definitely are a proud parent of your kids. Teaching your children on what is good or right and raising them to be a good people is such a beautiful thing. Excellent share!!!

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  11. So nice that everyone is super supportive of us laying down the hammer this time. I was hesitant to post about this because I thought people might think we were being too hard on him.... but I think there is no time like the present to get kids being respectful of their elders!

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  12. omg, this just brought back a cu-de-sac memory, ask your mom if she remembers this! We had borrowed a vase from your family for some reason and I was messing around being a maniac child and broke it while we were borrowing it! My mom made me walk over to your house, by myself, and apologize to Sandy and tell her what happened and return the broken vase and tell her I would replace it. I was terrified but I did it and I think it not only built character, but it was the start of my conscious. I think that what you are doing with the bugs, making sure they listen to that little voice that tells them right and wrong!

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