Monday, May 3, 2010

Righting a Wrong

It is a wise child that knows its own father, and an unusual one that unreservedly approves of him. ~ Mark Twain

I have my dad visiting this week for the girls' dance recital.  And while there are the occasional topics we agree to disagree on, I believe at my age, I am a child who as Mr Twain writes, "unreservedly approves" of her father.

I'm not exactly sure how I got here, and I'm hoping that one day my own children will look on me (and their father) the same way I look at my father.  That they too will be not just wise, but unusual as well.  The question is, how do we get there?

Yesterday we did something as parents that probably should have been done months ago, attempting to right a wrong.  My son has an x-box, a phone and and ipod.  I don't believe that there is anything wrong with any of those items.  When used in moderation.  The problem is that he tends to take things to an extreme level.  It is not unusual for him to be on the x-box for hours at a time.  Neither is it unusual for him to have his phone in his hand, in anticipation for the next text  coming throughOr using his ipod to tune out the world (which unfortunately includes parents).  What we have noticed through his usage of these three mediums is he is failing to communicate with us in a respectful manner.  We've taken note of this over the past months  but have not really addressed the  issue.  Until this week.  Now we are all bearing the brunt of his punishment.  We have removed both the x-box and a phone.  And make no mistake, this punishment will affect us all.

We don't do this lightly.  Only very rarely do parents exact punishment without considering all the options.  I had hoped that pointing out the disrespectful manner in which he was communicating would be all that was necessary to allow him to rectify the situation, but that wasn't the case.

He's a good kid and the reality is, this is not his failing but mine.  I take responsibility for having failed in teaching him respectful communication.  We both will pay the price as we attempt to right this wrong.

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