Self-proclaimed, yes, but my finest parenting moment yet occurred just before school started.
It was Labor Day weekend, and we enjoyed a perfectly sunny, beautiful Minnesota camping weekend at the lake. Cousins and family were hanging out, jet-skiing was in full force, trophy fish were caught, and no one had consumed a vegetable for at least 3 days.
Memories had been made. And I had the pictures to prove it.
And then came time to pack up.
I politely requested help carrying all the beach gear back to the camper. The teenager was eager to help. The 11 yr old, notsomuch.
In fact, his two-part temper tantrum was so well executed I’ve decided I should get him into acting. I’ll be rich.
My patience was tested beyond words. “You’ll be losing a privilege,” I said, “No TV when we get home.”
“GOOD!”, he responded, “I don’t want to watch TV.”
I counted to ten.
I counted to twenty. Thirty. Forty. All the way to 87.
Then I remembered some Love and Logic tips, and I remained calm as I said I would be thinking about a second privilege he would be losing.
There was silence as I drove away from the campground thinking about what meant the most to him in life right now. There were no sleepover invites I could cancel, no football games I could pull him from.
And then it hit me: school started the next day. Which meant the brand new Nike shoes that he so coveted would be finally worn out in public.
I started to speak: “I’m sorry, but you’ve lost the privilege of wearing your new shoes to school tomorrow.”
His jaw dropped. And no words came out the entire drive home.