By: Carolyn Coleman
WOW!! That’s the first thought that comes to my mind as I think about my son. My son is far from perfect, but he is so wise. In a recent conversation with a friend, we talked about our kids. Her kids are young adults- her son recently graduated college and her daughter just started her first year of college. She described her kids as being grounded. During our conversation she said how as very young children her kids always had consequences for their actions. I could relate when she said this, because my son is always held responsible for his actions, whether it is cleaning his room, staying on top of his grades, or playing video games for too many hours.
I am a true believer in what you instill in your child at a very young age will be with them forever. My son and I recently had a conversation about what’s going on at school. He shared with me that he has to write a paper for his public speaking class, and the subject he decided on was “Consequences.” I asked him why he chose that topic and he said he has had consequences for his actions, and yet he knows kids that get detentions, suspensions, and have no consequences for their actions.
My son recently received a “C” on a progress notice and he has very upset. I said to him it’s a progress report you have time to bring the grade up before report cards, and his reply was, “Mom this is my first “C.” My husband and I have always told him how important his grades were and he would have consequences if his grades were to drop. Then, out of nowhere, suddenly it occurred to me that finally he is holding himself accountable for his actions! He is setting his own consequences. I noticed in the days following that progress report that he watched less TV, and spent more time studying and doing more homework at home.
My son is very competitive both on and off the basketball court, so to see a “C” on his progress notice was a motivating tool to get him moving on his studying. For me it helped me to realize that we have instilled some good values in him.
One of our biggest family rules is that my son has never been allowed to play video games Sunday evening through Thursday night, and this has worked for us. I’ve had parents ask how we’re able to do this, and it’s something that has been a rule in our house since he’s been in school. I think this really helps keep him focused on school.
I know some parents don’t believe in consequences, but so far it seems to be working pretty well for us!