Day 4 – Keeping a Secret in my Back Pocket

Like in many households, the doldrums of winter have set in around our home.  The kids are constantly complaining that there is nothing to do and that dreaded expression flows freely from their cute little lips, “I’m bored.”  I hate to admit it, but our usual fallback tends to be electronics – Wii, DS, iEverythings, etc.  When our kids first started using these items, we were great about making our screen time rules perfectly clear and posting them on our backdoor.  Are they rigidly enforced anymore?  Not usually.  It always seems that I need just a few more minutes of silence to get dinner ready or finish checking email.  Knowing the kids are busy and not destroying the house (or each other) makes things just a little bit easier.  There are times however, where they go over the line.  Yesterday, Sport had his screen time privileges revoked for the day.  This sent him into a tailspin.  There were many tears and words exchanged, but most of all he pleaded with me to restore his privilege back.  As I’m looking into those tear-stained eyes I really just wanted to give in; it was so hard.  Instead, I calmed him enough to agree to keep a secret for me (I ignored his initial eye roll).  I told him that no other kids in the household knew about this secret, so it truly had to be private.  When he agreed, I shared that last week I was pulled over by the police for going through a red light (ok, I thought it was a very dark shade of yellow…details!).  I then told him when the officer came to the car and handed me my ticket, I was sobbing.  I said that there was tiny part of me that hoped when the cop saw me crying he would feel sorry for me and take the ticket back…but that didn’t happen.  Just like my kiddo, I had to face my consequences and my tears weren’t going to get me out of it.  His eyes became wide and a sly smirk slid across his face telling me he enjoyed having firsthand knowledge of Mom’s recent ‘law-breaking’ incident.  I also saw a slight spark in his expression when he connected his situation to my own (success!).  Today he’s back playing Wii and I’m back to driving around town, but hopefully we’re both doing it by the book and with dry eyes.

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3 thoughts on “Day 4 – Keeping a Secret in my Back Pocket

  1. It’s hard to admit our foibles to our kids, even to teach a life lesson. Kudos for putting that obstacle aside for his benefit.

  2. Electronics is a tough one. When we have family visits, my 16 year old and all this cousins sit together, pull out their phones and ‘do stuff’ on them. Come to find out, they’re playing games against one another or ‘checking out’ one another’s social sites. Its a very different world from when we were young.

  3. Nice to realize as a kid that parents goof and also have to face the piper sometimes. Love that you included him in your adult world of consequences. Sounds like you both ended that night with a new perspective

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