Lesson in Responsibility
By Rachel Paxton
My husband and I have a 10-year-old daughter,
and we like to joke with her that we gave
her a bike so that we would have something
to take away from her when she gets into trouble.
She doesn't think that's very funny, but what
she doesn't realize is that we are just trying
to teach her to be more responsible.
Our daughter had wanted a new bike for a
long time. We looked around at different stores,
compared prices, and waited until we found
a good deal on a good quality bike. She knew
that we were taking this purchase very seriously
and that she was going to have to take good
care of her bike in order to keep it.
We showed her how to lock her new bike and
told her that it was to be locked up every
night next to the front porch. She faithfully
locked it up every night for just over a week,
until my husband woke me one morning to tell
me she had forgotten to lock her bike the
night before and that she would not be allowed
to ride it that day.
I woke her up and patiently explained why
she couldn't ride her bike that day. Her face
fell, her frown deepened to a look of anguish.
"But Mom," she said, "I didn't
lock it because I thought I was going to ride
it again yesterday." "I don't want
to hear any excuses," I said, "You
didn't lock your bike up and you don't get
to ride it today."
She sulked for a while longer until she realized
we were not going to change our minds. I could
tell by the look on her face that she was
thinking to herself, "don't forget...don't
forget...don't foget." That was a very
long day for her, not being able to ride her
You can bet she won't forget again...at least
Originally published at Suite
101. Rachel Paxton is a freelance writer
and mom who is the author of What's for Dinner?,
an e-cookbook containing more than 250 quick
easy dinner ideas. For recipes, tips to organize
your home, home decorating, crafts, holiday
hints, and more, visit Creative Homemaking