This morning, I heard a fascinating conversation between a father and a talk-show host. The father said his two little boys had been put on school probation because they had been late to school nine times in the last 60 days. The father felt good about it because it served as a wake-up call.
A family council was called, and the entire family (including Dad) accepted full responsibility for their parts in the scenario. They made an agreement that produced spectacular results.
Solution: The parents agreed that each morning at exactly 7:30, they would leave the house for school. If the kids were not ready, they would have to gather everything they were going to wear and head for the car. When they arrived at the school, they would exit the car and walk into the school, whether they had their shoes on or not. Any embarrassment would fall on their shoulders.
The parents accepted their responsibility for getting the kids up early enough to give them time to get dressed and have breakfast. According to the father, not only is the system working to perfection, but the kids are much happier. They had been subjected to ridicule for coming in late and had fallen into disfavor with their fellow students.
Getting to school on time teaches the entire family to accept responsibility, but especially those two little guys. If they had been allowed to get by with being late and showing irresponsible behavior, a negative pattern that could last a lifetime might have been established. More important, being on time helped the boys eliminate the feeling that nobody liked them.
The teacher who reported them, the parents who accepted responsibility and the two boys are all going to be winners. That’s a winning approach to life. See you at the top!
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