We owe it to our children…
A couple of weeks ago I watched a mom in our office caught in a tough situation. Her 3-year-old was just finishing with therapy and had in his hand three pennies the therapist had used in her session. The mom was exhausted, having had her third child just 3 weeks before, she had not had a decent night’s sleep in ages. Her son wanted to take the coveted coins home. This mom and her crying son were standing in our hallway amongst multiple therapists and other parents coming and going… and watching.
The easy thing would be to quietly slip out and let her son take the coins. But she didn’t. She quietly told her son that the right thing to do would be to give the coins back. The therapist, trying to help the mom, said ‘no worries, he can have them’. But the mom, knowing she needed to teach her son the right thing, said, ‘No, we will wait here until you do the right thing’. They stood in our hallway about 15 minutes. After some crying, the boy finally approached the therapist and released those coins.
…studies show that possessing the trait of self control at age 11-years-old is the number one predictor of happiness 20-years later.
This may seem like a simple thing, it is not. I commend this mom, she just bravely taught her son a lesson about self control and conscientiousness, a trait that is missing in so many young people these days. It is something as parents we are neglecting to teach our kids. Yet studies show that possessing the trait of self control at age 11-years-old is the number one predictor of happiness 20-years later. As Dr. Leonard Sax describes in his new book, ‘The Collapse of Parenting‘ we must require our kids to respect us and practice self-control and conscientiousness.
I highly recommend reading his book to find out some tips on how to do this. The parent in our office is one great example of how to do this on a daily basis, my hat goes off to you mom!
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