By Lianne Castelino www.whereparentstalk.com
The stage of parenting that involves frequent and healthy debates is a fun phase. You know the one. Debates on everything from taking a bath to putting away laundry to having a new adventure. What? Yes, you read right. Credit the 13-year-old and 10-year-old with this feat!
My two boys (ages aforementioned) were scheduled to spend the afternoon taking in a play at a theatre yesterday with a group of like-age children from our parish. So as any insane mother would do, I raced home during lunch to pick them up and drop them off. When I walked in the door both boys were lying down, faking every ailment in an attempt not to go. When I asked, “are you trying to get out of going?” the 10-year-old replied, “how did you figure that out?”
My 6-year-old daughter who was not scheduled to go and who does not mince her words said, “Mommy they really don't want to go to the theatre.”
Why? “We're tired from swimming all morning, it's too hot out, my leg hurts, I want to watch the World Cup semi-final, can't you call them and tell them we don't feel well.” The excuses were both plain and plentiful!
Then I said, “what if you go and have the greatest time ever?” Pin drop silence. Off we went.
I dropped them off, begrudgingly, and left with both boys looking shell-shocked that all their excuses were in vain. Here they were.
Four and a half hour later I arrived as scheduled to pick them up. Their tanned and sweaty faces beamed. “How was it guys?” The reply came with 9 parts glee and 1 part sheepishness. “Mommy we had an awesome time. Thank you for organizing it for us.”
Score one for the parent!
On the drive home, they were little chatterboxes, detailing their adventure, the play, the people they went with whom they mostly knew by face and not name.
No need to say “I told you so guys.” They knew. Some kind of life lesson learned. But most importantly they had fun and learned to keep an open mind about the unknown. Taking a leap of faith doesn't have to hurt all the time.
Lesson for the parent? Debating can be exhausting, especially seemingly mundane topics. It's easy to give up (and we've done that plenty). But more often than not maintaining your stamina for specific debatable issues leads to great outcomes. No need to debate that!