Several weeks ago I wrote a blog post entitled “Kids Don’t Come With a Manual.” In that post, I talked about my experience as a young mom and my lack of knowledge in dealing with certain child behaviors, and how that led me to take parenting classes. Those classes were life-changing for both me and my children. In a good way.
One of the lessons I learned was how to effectively allow children the freedom to make some of their own decisions (giving them power), while also experiencing the natural consequences of their choices.
In that post, I shared a story about our son, Brian, when he was 5 years old. Today’s post is also about Brian, but this time as a father himself.
Ella (just-turned-4-yesterday) and Owen (5, almost 6) take swimming lessons. Both say they hate to get their face wet. I don’t think that getting their face wet is the problem. I think it’s more that they don’t like water in their eyes. And, well, sometimes, one thing leads to another.
Not wanting to get water on your face can present difficulties during swimming lessons.
Last week the students were practicing going underwater. Both Owen and Ella weren’t having anything to do with it. Brian finally leaned over the poolside and called Owen and Ella over and said:
“Hey, I forgot to tell you that we are going to Coldstone after swim lessons, and anyone who puts their face underwater gets ice cream.”
It was a tough choice.
“You can ALWAYS change your mind. That’s what free choice is all about.” -unknown
Next time, Owen. There’s always a next time.