Last week, I had to gulp down a dose of my own advice. It was a little bitter. As I was sitting in the parking lot to pick up one of my children, I was approached by campus security and asked what my point was in being there. I let her know that I was picking up my daughter. She instructed me to drive out to the street. (Mind you that it’s April and I have been picking up at that same spot since October.) I agree and move. She walks out of the parking lot and back into the hallway. As I am moving, I count no less than FIVE parents sitting in that very same parking lot waiting for their kids. Seriously? Why did she make a special visit to my car? Why didn’t she start knocking on other car windows? I admit it. I was irritated by the lack of consistency. If I am bothered as an adult, I definitely see why kids can get so worked up.
I’ve seen it time and time again. One kid gets in trouble for doing the exact same thing that another kid is doing. The exact same behavior performed by different people yields different reactions. Both of my children have had this complaint at some point in their lives and I give them the “worry about yourself because you can only improve you” speech. I do believe that is a good perspective to keep and saves much heartache of worrying about situations unnecessarily. I also believe that adults need to learn to be consistent at all times. All times including the days when we don’t feel good and are tired and sleepy and hungry. And to all kids, even the squirmy, stinky, personal space invaders. It’s just the right thing to do.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a parent, teacher, family member or friend. Consistency is something we can all work on. Let’s make our yes, yes and our no, no.
I got a kick out of this article by Dr. Fred Jones, probably because I saw much truth in what he says and partially because he uses terms like “weenie parents”. ;-)