If you pick at it ...it will bleed - A lesson on consequences

Monday, November 7, 2011

"If you keep picking at it, it will bleed!" These wise words came from my father many years ago. I was probably about 8 or 9 and I had a hangnail that I kept picking at. My father must have been watching me do this for a while because he said this without even looking up from his newspaper. I've always remembered this quote from him and until recently I never really knew why it stayed with me. You see it's all about consequences. Now I am not staying that my father meant this quote to become a life lesson; I am sure he just was telling me to quit picking at the hangnail! At the time I didn't think that this was going to be a teachable moment for me...but now 33 years I relate it to life's choices and consequences.

When I was younger my attitude was let me have fun now and reap the consequences later. Surprisingly, that never really worked out because some consequences have lasting effects. This is a lesson that I try to teach my daughters. The decisions they make now can directly affect their future, positively or negatively. So they must choose wisely! As they get older they both have started taking more control over the decisions they make...and reluctantly I have stepped back. As their mother I am there for guidance and support ALWAYS but I want them to know that ultimately they are in charge of their future.

"Parents can only give good advice or put their children on the right paths, but the final forming of a person's character lies in their own hands." Anne Frank

Believe me, it's not easy especially when my 21 year old daughter asks me to make a decision for her. When I hear the indecisiveness in her voice I am almost ready to tell her what to do or worst do it for her. But then I remember she has to be responsible for her own choices. So I listen patiently as she weighs her pros and cons and eventually makes her decision with very little input from me. Do I always agree with her choice? Not always. But I have learned that it's her life and therefore, it's her choice to make. Although, Cookie who is only 14 still needs me to make some decisions for her she has begun to think about how the choices she does make will affect her life now and in the future.

So thanks daddy for that funny little piece of advice many years ago! Who knew it would help me become a better mother to my girls.


Shannon on November 8, 2011 at 9:45 AM said...

Very good lesson! But oh it is so hard not to make those decisions for them, especially as they get older. Thanks for the reminder! :)

As always, great post!

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