Jack got in trouble this evening for not listening and he poured on the tears and said, “I want my daddy!” Over and over again, blinking purposefully while the tears squeezed out of his eyes. I thought this phrase would crush me, but I felt indifferent because I knew I wasn’t in the wrong – perhaps more serious-toned than I needed to be, but not wrong. It’s my job as a parent to correct my kids when they do something wrong, to teach them the right things to do in life and they aren’t always going to like it. In fact, as they get older, they will often hate it and sometimes even hate me (that might crush me a little bit). Yet, it’s these little moments now that will shape the parent I’m going to become and in turn will shape the adults my boys will grow into, which is why it’s so important not to give in to the tears and the woeful words. No matter how cute the pleading face is or ridiculous the point is that I’m trying to make (in this case it was that we don’t climb in the fridge and stand there while saying, “I have an idea… I want something.”) Because if I give in now, eventually I’ll give in to the bigger things and I’ll create two entitled little monsters and there are more than enough of those in the world. If you think about it (not too hard), my saying “no” now is really a public service for future generations. You are welcome.
P.S. It’s only going to get harder from here, God give me strength. Seriously, parenting is not for the faint of heart.