Parenting is a difficult task that includes difficult decisions. We want our children to grow up to be responsible adults. Sometimes, in that process, discipline is required to try to insure that happens.
It is important that our children learn to be responsible and tell the truth.
Recently, one of our children failed to keep their room clean. This was what you might call an “epic failure” of room cleanliness. But it wasn’t only the lack of keeping the room clean as much as it was this child’s failure to tell us the truth about it. All of our children are old enough to know the difference between right and wrong. The problem was that over the course of many weeks, this child lied to us about the state of the cleanliness of the room.
In our household, this requires discipline. Among a sentence of grounding, included the privilege of trick-or-treating being taken away. Some may think this harsh and it hurt us as parents some because we realize there are only so many years you get to do this as a child. But the offense was realized the week of Halloween and happened to be during the term of the grounding.
We also knew that we had to hand down a punishment that would be remembered and would have an impact. This child was looking forward to Halloween, as many kids do, and going around the neighborhood with friends.
As parents, it is more important to us that our children learn to be trustworthy and responsible than that they get to do something they enjoy.
Sometimes, as hard as it is, you have to draw a hard line and stick to it.
Be consistent with discipline and also be fair. But know that what seems fair to you will likely not seem fair to your children!