February 22, 2018Changing My Son's Path
I've messed up monumentally. With several failed marriages and a too-strong work ethic, I damaged my children in ways I now see that I could easily have prevented. When my son was about 15, he started testing his authority - he would talk back and be a smart mouth. After a few warnings, things mellowed, but one day he was asked to perform a task, and from the living room I heard the "roar of the cub" in defiance. I came around that corner and down that hall like a silverback gorilla, and, while I had no intention of touching him, he got the message.
Then when he was in high school, he and I had an agreement - he was to raise half of the money for an expensive extracurricular class trip during the holidays and I would provide the other half. If he didn't have his portion (and he had plenty of time to earn it), he wouldn't go. I got a call from the school principal requesting my immediate presence there. That's when I learned he had been caught in the teachers' room with a purse belonging to one of them. No money was missing, and the teacher was willing to let it go if he gave her an apology. I refused that option and asked the police officer who was there if he would arrest my son. He was arrested at lunch in front of his friends and marched out in cuffs. He was put in lockup in the city jail and "gently scared" by other inmates that the officer knew so as to deter his desire to repeat this offense. I let him sit there for 12 hours before I got him out. The magistrate dropped all charges and told him to never show his face in there again.
Since then, he's become a productive member of society. He works two jobs, has his own place, his own car, and pays all of his own bills....on time. Was it hard to do? YES, but I love my children, and it is my responsibility to train them to lead a productive life. I may have started out badly in my own life, and I'm still far from perfect, but hard love works. I'm a living testament to that.
Posted by Staff at 10:58 AM