Monday, December 22, 2008

The Joys of Parenting....

This past week was not the "best" week characterally speaking for our family.

I almost didn't share it but because of the growth our family experienced as a result I couldn't help but share.

On Tuesday (keep in mind Brian was out of town) I picked my kids up from school early because it was a speech day for Sadie and Ethan.

Well to my surprise Sadie's teacher walked her out and asked me "did the Principal call you"? To which my response was "no, why". She then asked if we could "talk". She even suggested Sadie wait in the car while we spoke...

If I'm being honest here I have to admit I was really SHOCKED! Sadie by nature is a pretty complaint, well mannered, people pleasing kid. I was really thinking "what could she have possibly done".

Well folks - no matter how long I pondered that question I NEVER would have come up with the offense. EVER!

Here's what happened.

Last Monday, my sweet baby girl was doing her seat work and was stumped for an answer - so she....(gasp) cheated. When confronted she (gasp again) lied...Then confessed.

She was - rightfully so - given a demerit.

She failed to mention anything to me about the demerit. In fact she snuck the demerit and her writing assignment into her room. She completed the assignment (I will keep my eyes on my own paper 15x) and then she SIGNED MY NAME ON THE DEMERIT! Yep - she sure did!

When her teacher told me that I think I turned every shade of red. I was mortified!! Shocked!! Blown away! Speechless!

She is ONLY in the 1st grade...

This was serious and since it happened years before we anticipated I was extremely unsure as to how to proceed and because Brian was away it made it all the more difficult.

I made an executive decision to restrict her from attending an ice cream party that evening with her friends at McDonald's. In addition, I decided she would have to go to bed 1 hour early and loose all TV privileges for 1 week.

Well when her daddy got home on Thursday - while he agreed with my consequences -he insisted on one more...He owned Sadie for the weekend! She had to be his shadow, she had to work in the yard, pull weeds, clip tree branches, carry debris from the back yard to the street, clean the pool. Everything that Brian did Sadie did. She worked her tail off.

About 1/2 way through the day as she was pushing the wheel barrel full of tree clippings she let out a genuine, but loud sigh.

So I said to her "you're working pretty hard, huh sweetie" She put the wheel barrel down, snuggled up on my lap and said "I sure wish I never signed your name mommy and I'm never going to cheat again!" "I'm really sorry".

At that moment, I was SO proud of Sadie.

She is a perfectionist to a flaw. If she can't win, be the best, or get an A+ she gives up completely. In her weakness of wanting that A she cheated. She had come to the place where she just wanted to be the best without regard of how she got there.

Our goal in our discipline strategy was to get her to a place of NOT wanting the consequences MORE than she wanted the A or to be the best.

We showed her how one sin (cheating) turned into another (lying) and then another (deceit).

Then Brian shared his favorite quote with her...Sin will take where never wanted to go, keep longer than you ever wanted to stay and cost you more than you ever wanted to pay.

In that moment on my lap - she got it. All of it!

As disappointed and let down as I was - this is one of my favorite parenting moments. Our family grew closer and deeper as a result and our 6 year old matured to a new level spiritually.

Parenting is not always easy or fun and sometimes its downright HARD! But boy oh boy are the rewards grand!!