Tuesday, October 18, 2011

An Ah-Ha moment in child rearing.

You have many throughout the life time of raising your children and some aren't as memorable as others. The books and the experts tell you about them and tell you how to deal with them and all the while you are saying, "oh my child isn't going to be act like that!" Haha..then we end up we egg on our face because at one point in time our children DO act like the books and experts tell you to expect.

One of my MANY and memorable came when my girls were teenagers and were fully enjoying their cell phones. I can recall this day almost perfectly...I can't remember the date but I can remember where each of us were sitting and doing. The girls were on the couch and I was ust coming back in from getting the mail. I had the cell phone bill in my hand. Now, our plan at that time - each girl had 250 texts each and we had a family plan of minutes and I allotted each of them 500 minutes. At this point in time, they didn't really call many people that weren't on our plan (or so was the case till this point.) For months they did well staying in the ranges. My policy was the same as the cell phone company...if you went over your texts, you would pay me 10 cents for each one over. If you went over your minutes, you paid me 35 cents for each minute
over. The penatly for not paying your bill was turning off the that feaure or even the phone untill payment was received.

The girls had no jobs but did get an allowance that included spending money. I gave them X amount of money each money and from that money X amount was lunch money, money from doing their assigned tasks at home and then spending money. The idea was (and it worked VERY well their entire teen years) that this was all you got for the month...you had one pass to ask me for extra if it was something important (example being a school function or a new book (reading is deemed very high in our house and I never have turned down buying them a book). They never abused the extra pass.

So back to this particular day, I opened my bill and hit the roof. It was almost $300! Now I have to tell you that the two months before each girl went over their texts by like 4 each and one went over their minutes by like 10. I gave them a warning each of those months and a "pass." I figured they would learn. HaHa...egg on my face! I told each girl what they owed me for this bill...and it was BIG for Jennifer. Not so much for Valerie, but it was still steep. Jennifer didn't care one bit and all she said was she would try harder not to. Ohhhh so not good enough. She proceeded to tell me that I always bluff with the threats and don't follow through with my punishments like I say I will. Ding Ding Ding...and let there be LIGHT! Oh yep indeed...the light bulb came on BRIGHTLY. I picked up my phone and dialed the cell company and had them turn off the phones temporarily. Now being smartasses the girls didn't believe me and laughed and went on with watching their TV show. I walked away to cool off and to start dinner. About 10 min later, I heard this scream of MOMMMMMMM why did you turn off my phone!!!!! I nearly choked from trying not to laugh of smile but said with the straightest face possible "you don't pay your bill, the service is gone, Pay your bill and it comes back on"

Fuming she walked away and didn't talk to me for two days. Valerie, my money hoarder paid her bill two days later and her phone was turned on. On the third day, Jennifer paid me half (she owed me $100) with money she was saving for some outfit and shoes for months now. Told me to take the rest of it out of her next months money. I did which was a week away. Her phone was then turned on. Since that day, I have no problems with them and their phones and I have had NO problems following through on any of my punishments....they didn't like it but they got the point and didn't argue.

I probably should have learned that lesson long before that but my girls are awesoome, responsible adults now so I didn't do too badly. Live and learn.

What was one of your Ah-Ha moments?

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