“Girls! Get your shoes on!” I yelled as I got little Jason ready to go. I could still hear all three girls playing. “Girls! It’s time to go. Get your shoes on right now!” I wasn’t that far away from them. I knew they heard me, but none of them had made any attempt to obey. “Stop what you’re doing and get your shoes on. We’re going out to eat!” It was our Christmas break and I wanted to take them somewhere special. I could feel my tension building, however, because they were all still ignoring me. I yelled the name of one of my girls and said, “Come here!” By the time she came, I had changed my mind. Why was I going to take them somewhere special if they weren’t going to obey?
“Never mind,” I told her, “We’re not going.” Now I had their attention. They were most indignant. They let me know that I was the worst mom ever. And you know what? They were right, not because I didn’t take them out to eat, but because if all three thought they could ignore me three times and get away with it I had been doing something wrong. It would be so easy to blame them for their horrible behavior, but truthfully it was just evidence of my bad parenting. Sigh. Parenting. It’s so easy to have the right answers for being a good parent, but doing all those things consistently–not so easy. I explained why we weren’t going and began putting something together for lunch.
The next day at about the same time, I yelled, “Girls! Get your shoes on!”
This is what I heard: “Hurry! We’ve got to HURRY. Mom said ‘Get your shoes on!’” They were all ready and standing by the door within a couple of minutes! Ah, what great children they are! 😉