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Choices, Choices

I’ve raised my children to understand they have a choice in all things. Some would argue this is not true in a circumstance where someone held a gun to his/her head. But I would disagree. Even then, there is a choice. It’s all about weighing your options and calculating if the consequences are worth the choice. Every child will test the boundaries of a parent’s mercy and resolve. It is an important part of growing up.

This week, I had to enforce law with a child that is becoming a man. Real men make solid decisions and stand by them and the punishment or reward associated with them. Turmoil related in terms of negative outcome is one sure sign your son is only a few steps from adulthood. The child within him will fight against accountability, while the wisdom garnered from one too many trips to the woodshed accepts that fighting it will only make the punishment longer and harder.

I’m not my child’s friend. I am one of two leaders, and as such I demand respect in all things. This is an honor I have earned through years of puke, snot and temper tantrums. Simply put…I rate. So when my almost-legal-to-vote son ignores me, raises his voice, snarls his lip, rolls his eyes, or any other disrespect associated with a punk, he has two choices.

Take his punishment like a man or hit the road.

Basically, I am of the opinion that the day my child thinks he can do any of those things without swift punishment is the day he can house and feed himself. I have neither the desire or inclination to produce a worthless almost-adult that thinks this world worships the ground he walks on. In the case of my son, it was really over something trivial. He was unable to shutty and an escalation of stupid choices in rapid succession.

When they reach his age, discipline becomes an art of finding the things that they love the most to take away. My son has been growing his lovely golden locks with Fabio dreams and several trips to the mirror each day. So when he couldn’t shut it and think, I warned him if he said one more thing I was cutting it off. I think he thought I was bluffing. He should know better. That’s betting against the house and this house happens to be a bit crazy.

Details are irrelevant in the grand scheme of things, but results speak volumes. Take the hair cut or hit the road. My son pondered for several hours all his options. Finally, he manned up and took his punishment, realizing he wasn’t quite ready for the big world.

And before anyone says my child is awful, let me say that every child I’ve ever known displays different levels of stupid. I am rather fond of my offspring. Only I may take them to the woodshed and then hug them afterward. Plus, hair grows back. He’ll think twice the next time he makes a choice to bet against this crazy house. Good times.

Peace, love and God’s will.

**Disclaimer** The picture above is not my son. I did not do this sort of cut. But I promise if he takes the same tone with me ever again, I will. I think he believes me. 😉

About Diane Graham

Diane Graham lives in the mountains of eastern Oklahoma with her husband, children and many dogs. She is an avid reader and lover of all art forms that encapsulate imagination and goodness. Her debut novel I Am Ocilla was released in March 2012.

11 comments on “Choices, Choices

  1. Anyone who disagrees with “every child….displays different levels of stupid” has not spent enough time around children. And they have obviously forgotten what *they* were like as teenagers. My husband and I tell our kids that there is a “stupid gene” that turns on in every kid when they hit 15. I think I may have had about 7 of those genes, all amplifying each other. I only pray I didn’t pass on all of them to my kids…

  2. I’m sure you’ve heard it before, but even if they don’t thank you, your children will be better off for a firm hand at home. Society really depends on parents being parents–the fruit of parents as friends to their children is pretty obvious. 😦

    Great thoughts here!

  3. I don’t get no animal name. I’m just a silly girl. Or so I’m told.

    Interesting post, m’lady. The snickering you hear in the background is me watching my adult children raising their own little darlings. *snicker* See what you have to look forward to enjoying?

  4. My Dearest youngest Daughter,

    It all hurts, Children, Grandchildren, You want them to understand, they just can’t, the sooner you learn that the better off you are. It’s not personal, it just is what it is.

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