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Saturday, November 14, 2009

Parental Right: Changing Your Mind

Sometimes as a parent, you may have to change your mind. Something that seems right at the time, may need to be reviewed again and changed later on. A rule might possibly need to be bent for a certain reason. A punishment might need to be forgiven. A decision might need to be reviewed. Such is the case with our daughter's soon-to-be cell phone...

I know it may seem strange to most people, but none of our children have a cell phone....even our fifteen year old daughter, Lauren. But in a few days, she will have one. She's excited, but her Dad and I are just as excited.

Lauren wanted a phone several years ago, but we weren't ready for her to have one. After a while she was okay without having one and began to see that in the end it was better that she didn't get one when she was younger.  It's amazing how many kids have cell phones...even in elementary school.

Last year after the third nine weeks of the school year, Lauren and her Dad made a deal....well, actually HE made the deal for her! Lauren had gotten a little lax in her grades and had two B's, which isn't terrible, but we knew she was capable of making A's, except maybe in math. My husband, Joe, told her that if she had a B in math, it was okay, but that it wasn't okay in the other subjects. She agreed that she hadn't been giving it her best and determined to do better. The deal was this: All A's (except could have a B in math) for a whole semester and then she could get a cell phone.

The last nine weeks of last school year Lauren had all A's except math. But, the deal was for a semester, not just a nine weeks period. That meant it wouldn't be until Christmas break.

After the first nine weeks of this year, Lauren actually had all A's...even in math. She told me she really wished that she was getting a cell phone. I did too, actually, because she was gone a lot with ballgames and FFA trips, but I told her that wasn't the deal she made with her Dad, so she wouldn't be getting one. He repeated the same deal to her again, determining she would need to wait as he had first told her she would need to do.

A few days after she received her report card after this year's first nine weeks, my husband said, "I sure wish Lauren had a cell phone." I said, "Well, you made the deal with her. I suppose you could renege!". He didn't say anything. (I think he was thinking about it, but couldn't be sure :)!!)

A few more weeks went by and Lauren was going more and more on basketball scrimmage trips, getting ready for the offical season to start. We went to a few of the scrimmages, but not all of them, due to the boys having activities of their own. Lauren would borrow her friend's phone and let us know how they did, when they were leaving, and what time they would be home so that we could pick her up. Joe said a few days ago, "Lauren really needs her own cell phone so she doesn't have to borrow all one all of the time." In my head I said, "YES!" Outloud I said, "She really does."

So, today, I got the priviledge of telling Lauren the good news and taking her to pick out her new phone, which she will officially get on Monday (in two days). She's so excited!

I'm thankful my husband changed his mind. He realized the need our daughter had of having her own cell phone and determined that his original plan/rule wasn't worth keeping. He realized that it was okay to change the rule and change his mind.

What if he had been too proud to change the rule? What if he had been too stubborn to realize the rule needed to be changed? Oh, yes, she/we could have made it without the cell phone for another month. It wouldn't have hurt anything to wait another month. Lauren could have borrowed from friends some more during that time.  However, I think my husband taught Lauren an important lesson by changing his mind. He taught her (and our boys, too) that it's good to re-think things, that it's okay to change your mind if something's not working. He taught them to not be stubborn when it comes to making decisions, even as the head of the house.

It's kind of interesting the deal my husband has made with our 13-year-old son.  He can get a cell phone at the same age (15), BUT he has to have straight A's.  He doesn't get the "B in math" part of the deal our daughter did.  Why?  Because he's really good in math and it comes easy for him.  If he began to get B's in math we would know he wasn't doing his best. 

I'm wondering how his "deal" may change???  He's probably hopeful for a change in the age of getting a cell phone.  I'm pretty sure that part of the deal won't change. :)

1 comment:

Wa Wa Waughs said...

I totally agree with you, even tho I think being a consistent parent is good too! Kevin Leman says of the scripture "train up a child in the way HE should go..." means sometimes somethings work with some kids better than others.

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