When we all look back over the kid-rearing days, so much comes to mind. I was looking for a quick blog entry because if you have a blog, you have to write and publish. At 6:45 am, this short entry came to mind.
When the kids were young, somewhere under 10 years old, I began searching for “the motto”, which would be the “be all, end all” of all mottos. One that applied to almost anything. One that I could use through the years as the kid-rearing chapter presented all those challengers that come with it. The motto had to be short so if I was really lucky they would remember it. One that I could “apply” when they were successful even at small things. One that I could apply when they screwed up, if the screw up was worth applying the motto. One that I could say “remember the motto” so I did not have to actually repeat the motto, but they’d instantly know it.
I tried to be careful to make sure the “punishment, the motto that is, fit the crime”. I knew if I overused it, it would quickly become ineffective.
Here is an application: At one point, at the dinner table, when the younger one had just committed a family felony, I rolled out, “remember the motto”. His response, “Dad, why don’t you just tape it, you won’t have to repeat it, and I can listen to it when I want to.” He knew it (the motto)! We all laughed.
I used it for all those years. Today they are 36 and 39. So the motto has endured the years, in the neighborhood of 30 years.
I have told the motto story many times over, to friends and relatives, at various occasions, sometimes in the presence of the two perps, and about the dynasty of “the motto”. In our family it has lineage.
It just about applies to any appropriate situation, to anyone, at any age.
How do I know it really stuck? Well, if you asked one of the two today, if you asked them, “what is the motto”, and I do on occasions, they will laugh, maybe say something about me being old, but they know it. If pressed, they’ll say it;
“Keep things in balance and do it right the first time” !
***** S&E *****