Mom blog: Because I Said So! Dealing with disappointment

Mom Blogger JacquelynWe had an incident yesterday that was just one in a zillion in a family with three kids. I don’t think I handled it very well, but it was one of those “between a rock and a hard place” things, and I had to make a decision quickly.
As I said in my post on Friday, our goal for the weekend was to see Veggie Tales’ Pirates Who Do Nothing/Don’t Do Anything. With a rating of G, it held the most appeal for Luka, my seven year old. Well, the weekend took a twist and we ended up out of town until late afternoon Monday. Since the movie theatre in Huntsville was not showing the flick on either of its two screens, I promised we would go Monday evening. Car unpacked. dinner finished, the movie showing at 7:20. we piled into the car at 7:10. This is precision timing, but we always make it into our seats by the time the main feature starts.

In the car on the way there, an argument starts, not involving Luka, and ends with a major act of disrespect that requires swift shutdown. I can’t proceed to the movie, because as an old boss said, “what you permit, you promote.” I can’t take this kid to a movie. This kid needs to go home, to solitary confinement in the bedroom, discussion of behaviour later. But that leaves Luka with no movie. I can’t drop kid at home and take off back to the movie, because it’s one-third over by that time. As we’re getting out of the car, I say to Luka that I’m really sorry, but we needed to come home so we could all calm down. He said “OK, I understand.”

At bedtime, after finishing Scaredy Squirrel, I apologized for missing the movie again, and said we would definitely go this week. He said, “I really wanted to go tonight.” And then he cried.

We hugged, and he had a good cry, and said it would be good to see the movie before next weekend. I told him that was a “for sure” thing and he was back to good in a few minutes.

I felt like Bad Mum of the Year. Was it a stupid decision? Should we have gone on to the movie and let disrespect be part of the evening? Could I have made my point in the one minute between car and ticket lineup? Could I have put punishment on hold and had a good time for the sake of the seven year old? How do I make it up to him? Just the two of us go to the movie? Should I even keep talking about it? Or just let it go?

I still don’t know. I still feel awful. What do you think?

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4 Responses

  1. You did the right thing. Better to deal with a problem right away & to share in your disappointment with Luka. He may not understand fully but you being the parent must make the tough decisions. I hope you enjoy the movie all the more when you do get there. And only you can decide if it should be just the two of you or if your older children have respected the rules enough to join you. If they have been doing what the should I would bring them but maybe they don’t want to see it? Just my 2 cents worth. Hang in there.

  2. Thank you Anne! I can feel the pat of your hand on my shoulder, and it’s a shoulder that could use some, I can tell you. Knowing a grandmother thinks I made a good decision is just what I need right now. And I think I’ll make it Luka’s decision as to whether he wants his siblings along for the show, you know, give him back some of the control he lost last night. Thank you again for responding, and thank you for reading!

    Jacquelyn

  3. Tough on the little one, I agree. But you did the right thing. Best part of that whole incident? Your youngest now knows what he will not be able to get away with when he is that age. Good for you.

  4. Hi Jackie, I’m a bit late in reading this (shift work sucks) but you did the right thing!!!! It’s always a hard lesson for young ones, and it hurts us as parents, but in the long run you’re fostering respect by shutting down disrespect and following through with the discipline (missing the movie in this case).
    Luka will (seems he does) understand and you’ll be able to enjoy the movie later. I found with my kids (all 5) that if disrespect isn’t dealt with immediately it will linger and can grow. Don’t feel bad, it’s our job to keep kids in line, and the poor kids that suffer from the others’ mistakes will learn (Emma, my youngest, tells me this now that she’s 17.. she learned what not to do from watching the older kids!!). Now that they’re mostly adults, we all still have respect for each other.

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