Savannah says to me, “Mom, can we have a tea party please?”
“Sure honey, but not right now, we will get to it later.”
Then the baby needs to be put down, laundry rotated, dinner prepped, the phone answered, then the baby wakes up….and before you know it Daddy’s home.
As I tuck her in at night, she covers me with kisses and hugs, and doesn’t even mention the forgotten tea party.
A few days later, she says, “Mom can we please have a tea party?”
My heart sinks. Not only had I not made time for the tea party, I had forgotten all about it.
In the midst of life’s craziness, my ideal self often responds full of good intentions but lacks with follow through. Thankfully, my kids are gracious, and when they really want something they will usually ask again. But what happens when they don’t?
Trust is compromised.
My kids foundation of trust starts with me. A tea party missed here and there may not seem like much, but little by little it can create a crack in that foundation. The next time she asks she may not believe my answer.
Then there is the discipline aspect. A lack of follow through of a promised disciplinary action only blurs the boundary for kids. When I allow gaps and open doors within the fences of my expectations, it’s not fair for me to expect my children to stay inside them. Ironically, my kids prefer a clear boundary. It makes them feel safe and gives them the freedom to play without fear of unknowingly wandering through a gap. Consistency, consistency, consistency. I’m sure you’ve never heard that before. It is a clear value across the board when it comes to discipline.
But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes’, and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one. Matthew 5:37
Lately, I’ve been challenged with being intentionally honest. If one of my children needs a time out, I set a timer (because let’s be honest, I would forget if I didn’t). If my daughter wants a tea party, instead of flippantly responding to pacify her request, I stop and try to give her a real estimation of our next tea time.
I don’t need to promise something for my kids to take me at my word. I don’t want my kids to hear me say “later” and think its a lie. I need my actions to be the backbone of my word. Intentionality is worth it, because there really is nothing sweeter than having tea with my girl.
How do you struggle with being consistent or procrastinating with your kids? What other areas of your life do you see this affects?