It seems as though the answer would be a simple one after so many years of parenting, but no such luck! Watching my children grow and develop through the years has given me something I couldn’t possible put into the right words but it hasn’t really helped me answer that question either, truthfully, when I think I have it, I’m thrown a curve ball and have to start over.
I took my daughters to Lowery Park Zoo in Tampa Florida many years ago and had a great time but eventually we had to leave. As we were leaving one of my daughters wanted to go into the gift shop, so we went in and looked around. I said to her, “okay, it’s time to go now” after perusing the store for about 20 minutes.
My daughter, then about 4 years old decided that she was going to throw a fit where just about everyone in the park could see! I had to actually pick her up and carry her out, I didn’t expect that to happen because up to that point all was really good, she wanted something from the store and I had already spent all the money I had brought with me (lesson learned there!) and trying to reason with a 4 year old regarding the concept of money just doesn’t work to well, even though I expected it to, even just a little.
Fast forward 7 years…
I’m much more experienced now, I’ve handled situations that have been tough and have even gotten compliments from my wife in the way I have handled them. But I don’t think my children know that yet! My daughters, all of them, are very intelligent and the rules we have in place, the ideals we have impressed upon them sometimes go right out the window!
Last week my daughter wanted to go to her friend’s house, no big deal but there was one exception. Our rule about friends houses particularly if it is a sleepover is that we must meet the parents first. After several minutes of argument, a picture of a nuclear explosion something like a cartoon popped into my head (Warner Brothers would be proud), well I ended the “conversation” rather abruptly with the end result certainly not in her favor but…Man!! The expression, “wait until you have your own kids” comes to mind! I really expected her to understand since we have had these rules in place for a long time and they are for their own safety.
My children for the most part are good kids so don’t get me wrong, this does not happen all the time, sometimes she/they make some very good choices and I’m just blown away by that and very proud that this happens even if only so often, to me it means they’re on their way to growing up…maybe!
The moral of this story…
Never expect the expected and always expect the unexpected as children will always see things through their own world to suite their own wants and needs. If you haven’t realized that by now, don’t wait for the building to fall on you!
Bob Boisvert AHD to Sarah & Jennifer (11 yr twins) and Grace (7)