This week, one of the Mama Kat prompts is “a lesson you learned.” It appears in my case, I’m still learning.
It seems that in situations where my son has gotten in trouble of some kind, my response to the adult in authority is always “You have our full support.” The frustration is: how do we translate our full support of the adult into behavioral change in our kid?
Wayne (now 14) has been skating with the speed team (practicing with the beginners) for at least a year now. We haven’t pushed him to participate in the speed skating competitions, partially because (rightly or wrongly), it was hard for me to see spending money on the expenses that are involved in an out of town competition at a time when my husband wasn’t working.
There was a local meet today, however — more of a “practice meet.” Apparently he signed up on Thursday (glad to see him take initiative). We maneuvered the family schedule around to get him to Skate World by 8 a.m. (yawn) despite what was rapidly turning into a raging case of swimmer’s ear. I left him at Skate World, thinking that his “symptoms” would inevitably be “worse” when I was there. It was a tough call to make because I love being at my kids’ everything. I have missed very few meets/races/games in my life.
When I texted him to tell him that I “couldn’t” make it to Skate World before taking my in laws to church, the text I got back was “Well I got sent to the lobby (read: thrown out) but it wasn’t all my fault.”
Trust me, this is NOT the kind of text you want to get walking into church!
The version from my son went something like this: “So and so took my money and bought a cupcake with it then when I took the cupcake, it ‘ended’ up on the floor. Oh and he somehow hit his head when he tried to jump over me.”
The consequences of his choices (besides getting kicked out of the meet) may mean (another) one month suspension from recreational skating (although he can still go to speed team practice) and possibly the loss of the privilege of the all important “all night skate” occurring this Friday night.
As he was describing the incident, and the fact that he is supposed to call the coach on Thursday to ask about all night skate, I was already envisioning my “you have our full support” email. I secretly hope they’ll take away the all night skate privilege, if for no other reason than it gets me out of a 7:00 a.m. pickup and saves me $25. I not so secretly hope hubs and I will just be the parents and tell him no.
I am still struggling with how to turn our “full support” into him taking responsibility for his choices. I am getting worried, y’all, that the things that are irritating at 14 will be worse at 18, 23, 28 …… the consequences of the adult world can be pretty damning, whether or not you have your parents’ full support.
To conclude, I think the “lesson I’ve learned” is that I’m still learning. And that sometimes “full support” is not enough; it has to be paired with tough consequences.