By April Dye, Contributor for USDR
Actions have consequences. Growing up didn’t we all hear our grandparents, parents and even teachers telling us this when we did something stupid and got hurt or embarrassed ourselves or both?
Do parents teach this to their children anymore?
It doesn’t seem like it. I am bombarded every day with a story of a kid doing something stupid (which is usually what kids do) and instead of their parents teaching their kids that actions have consequences they instead blame someone or something else for the results of their kids mistake.
Let’s take school for instance. If your child chooses to not study for a test coming up the consequence might be a bad grade. As a parent shouldn’t we discuss with our child what happened to cause this grade? Was it lack of studying? Was it just being lazy and rushing through the test?
If they didn’t understand the concept of the subject, shouldn’t we try (if we could) to help and if that wasn’t working we would set up a time with the teacher to discuss a solution.
In any of these situations shouldn’t we discuss the importance of learning, listening and doing our best to make the grade? If they have done their best (really showing it not just saying it) then we encourage them to always try hard and they will reap the reward?
Or should you call up the teacher and berate them for giving their child a bad grade? Should you call up the principal to gripe about how awful your child’s teacher is? Or do you just ignore and say do better next time but do nothing to help them work at it?
Which one is going to teach them to be responsible? Which one is going to teach them that actions have consequences?
I know parents who buy their children expenses electronics, clothes, bikes etc only to have the children – be children – and break them. Now one could use this as a teaching moment to show them how to take care of the things that they are blessed to have or we could do them a disservice and go out and buy them another one.
Let’s say you live in a neighborhood and your next door neighbor has a beautiful yard and spends all their extra time trimming the bushes, mowing the grass, pulling the weeds, and fertilizing it so it looks beautiful and green and your child decides to ride their bike right through the middle of his yard.
When the neighbor comes over to complain are you going to apologize and have a discussion with your child about respecting other peoples’ things or are you going to tell your neighbor to get over it?
Parenting is not easy. But just like anything, it is a job where our actions have consequences. We can raise our children to be responsible, respectable, caring adults or we can teach them to be irresponsible, disrespectful, selfish adults. What type of adult do you want to teach your child to be?
Give your kids rules to follow. When they follow them show them you appreciate them and show them how they bless others. When they don’t follow them show them and let them experience the consequences of their actions. Make them want to make the right decisions instead of what feels good at the moment or what all their friends or doing or thinking they won’t get in trouble because you will always bail them out.
Love your children and show them good and bad actions have consequences and that it is okay to make mistakes but we need to learn from them and try not to make the bad ones again. Love your children enough to let show them the good, the bad and the ugly. They will appreciate it whether they realize it or not.