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barbszy 07-24-2007 11:03 AM

Teaching Your Child to Do the Right Thing
Why is it that when you try to teach your child how to be kind, you wind up making him cry?

A few minutes ago, Adventure Boy came to the door. Luke said he didn't feel like playing, so I told Adventure Boy, "Luke doesn't want company right now." Well, Adventure Boy is not one to take no for an answer, and Luke is the curious sort, so (as usual) we wound up with two little boys, one on either side of the screen door, chatting. Adventure Boy told Luke to come outside and Luke did.

At that point, I figured that Luke had decided to play with Adventure Boy, and went back to cleaning up the dishes from lunch. Out the kitchen window, I saw the two of them running around in the backyard.

Then Backyard Neighbor Girl came outside. I saw her talking to the two boys, then coming into my yard, talking with them some more, and then starting to return to her yard. I couldn't hear the conversation but I got the sense that she was trying to tell them not to come over to her house. So I called the boys inside.

Luke told me that Neighbor Girl only wanted him to come over, not Adventure Boy. I said, "That's a problem, because he's here playing with you. So she can play with both of you or none of you."

Luke wanted to send Adventure Boy home but I said that was not OK, because he was playing with Adventure Boy first, and that he cannot dump one friend to play with another. There will be no "something suddenly came up" moments on my watch. Not if I can help it.

Cue the Luke Meltdown. I told him that if Adventure Boy went home, he still couldn't play with Neighbor Girl. He said he didn't want company, so I sent Adventure Boy home. And now I've got Luke crying and carrying on because he wants to play with Neighbor Girl--who has done this very thing to Luke in the past when she got a better offer from some other little girl!

Sometimes doing the right thing is hard. Whether you're 5, or an adult.

cau 07-25-2007 09:20 AM

Good for you! I am amazed and how many parents don't take the time to teach kids basic manners and the difference between right and wrong. :party:

Joy 07-25-2007 01:26 PM

Barb, I can understand exactly what you are saying as I had many of those moments as my children grew up. I remember going to bed many nights and feeling totally frustrated wondering if they were getting what I was trying to tell them. DS#1 is 23 now and this spring he had to go Milwaukee for some training for work. My sil lives in a short distance away in the Chicago area, so DS decided to visit her a day before returning home. A few weeks later my sil called to tell me what a grown up, poliet and wonderful adult my Ds had become. Her and Dh enjoyed the visit with him and wanted to let me know I had done a good job raising him.
I know sometimes we never hear those kind words about our kids and I thanked my sil for sharing them with me. I am not saying that my kids still don't frustrate me from time to time, but I do see glimmers of all those years paying off.
Hang in there I am sure your dks are learning many wonderful lessons from you and someday they will let you know just how much they appreciated all your love for them.
Too bad some lessons have to hurt to learn. Hope Luke is feeling better about the playing thing.

megrayau 07-25-2007 01:49 PM

Well done barbszy. i remember those years of working through friendship etiquette well and we still sometimes have to do it. It is worth the hard yards now.
There are so many tough lessons along the way, and each one can seem easier to skip, but the buildong blocks need to all be in place or the structure (in this case the person) can be weak and vulnerable later.

Mish 07-26-2007 09:54 AM

Very well done Barb.But you can try to teach them to do the right thing.My middle dd has friends who end up sneaking off to play with each other (They just did this to her this week right after lunch).Sometimes it is hard to be a kid so alot of times i end up letting all of the kids here playing with each other.But i have noticed it can get harder when they get older and start to out grow each other too.

Mish :)

dval 07-29-2007 07:10 PM

I think you did the right thing Barbzsy. If that situation came up with my son, I would do the same.

bar_bar 08-04-2007 07:07 PM

Barbz, I can relate.. I have told John many times I don't care if I'm the only parent on earth teaching the girls from right or wrong I will continue to teach them right. Yet, I do have to say it has it moments and it bittersweet moments as well.
It breaks your heart when you know your child been hurt, but we know better and why and all we can do is to teach them right from wrong and to explain to them like you did.

What is hard on me to teach these girls right things when they see thier mother not doing things that is right. I'm thankful the oldest one don't want to be like her... that a plus for me.

Keep up the work you are doing with your kids... you are a good mom.

from crockpot_momma. LOL

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