Paying It Forward To Our Kids: Holding them Accountable
This week, I got a note from my son's teacher stating that he had told her that he did not get a parent signature on a lab study design as required because my husband and I were out of town but would we please sign it when we were back in town. Hmmm...that is strange...my husband had been travelling. However, I had been home the whole time.
I was faced with a choice: Cover for my son and thank the teacher and tell her that I would just do that, or tell her the truth and have him deal with the consequences of his actions. There actually was no choice; I responded to the teacher, told her the truth, and informed my son that he was going to have to face this situation head-on.
Initially, my son was surprised that I would "blow his cover." After all, there is an honor code at the private school he attends and the consequences could be severe. To this I responded that I would rather have him learn a lesson the importance of truthfulness and taking responsibility for his actions now, at the age of 13, than later in life, when the consequences could be much more life changing.
Don't get me wrong, I HATED sending that email. It would have been so easy to just go along with the story he had told. However, my son's character is more important than any bad grade, detention, or other punishment.
My son did go in and sincerely apologize to the teacher for lying to her. He got a zero for the grade. He is going to have to work extra hard this term to compensate for that. But he did tell me that he was glad that I did what I did because he did learn a lesson and he knew that I did it out of love for him.
Now that was something that made it all worthwhile!