Thursday, 29 September 2011

Social Media Mom Outs Sons

How about the Tennessee mom who posted a scolding on Facebook aimed at her two sloppy sons and in so doing revealed that their residence did not qualify them to play on the high school football team where they had transferred recently?   Regardless what you might think about some of the silly state athletic association rules about students who transfer legitimately (and we have them in New Mexico too) the point here is that social media networking can cause a team to forfeit three games?  C'mon people.  Just because Mom is trying to publicly shame her boys for not cleaning up their rooms?   There are other ways to get boys (and girls) to clean up their rooms or for that matter contribute to the organization and workings of a household by sharing some of the chores.  My hunch is that Mom has been letting these two sluggards get away with stuff for years so it's not all that unusual except that she had probably reached her limit and had enough of their lack of response.  So, to Facebook!  Obviously that was not the right response.  Mom, how about just enforcing your own rules and regulations with some consequences which cause the boys sufficient discomfort and inconvenience that they might reconsider? 
Here's the thing about consequences.  Most kids think consequences can only be negative and I've surveyed enough of them long enough to find that to be true.  What has been missing, over time, is for parents to let their children know that consequence is synomymous with results and that you can actually have good consequences.  Good choice, good consequences.  Bad choice, poor judgment, bad consequence.  I know it sounds oversimplified but find some examples that your children can relate to easily.   Don't brush your teeth, yucky mouth, visit to the dentist.  Brush and floss.  Feels better, looks better, good chance of better teeth.   It gets a little easier when they reach driving age as that is great leverage for a parent.   Good choices, drive the car.  Bad choices, lose the privilege.  And so on.  You can think of others.   Choice/consequence just like the dawn follows night.

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