Friday, September 28, 2018

Choices

If you've not been living under a rock and you have a school-aged son, then most likely you've been made aware that Fortnite Season 6 launched yesterday, September 27. Unfortunately, it was a Thursday / school day and I'm betting that a significant number of boys either chose to miraculously rise from their beds on their own very early in the morning (without a parent having to drag them), or rushed through their homework after school just so they can start playing online. 

Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/bagogames/39943037982


Mine chose the latter. 

He did a few quick chores after grabbing a small snack, assured me that he finished his homework when he had free time in class, and then went upstairs to his computer room. 

He promised he would do more chores before bed time (e.g. fold his clean laundry), and just double the minutes for Khan Academy 'tomorrow' (which is later today).

I let him. I've been letting him make choices as part of our training. I'm training myself not to hover as much, while my husband and I are training him to be accountable and learn real responsibility. And besides, his plan seemed sound enough to me. I had the assurance that everything that needed to be done had been done. 

Until Friday morning came...

He got up, showered, got dressed and when I saw him walking towards the kitchen for his breakfast, I saw he had a book in his hand. He read and flipped through the pages while he chewed on his cereal. At that point, I had to ask. I'm sure he knew a long lecture was coming.

"What is that?...And don't tell me it's a book 'cos I can see that it is. What I need to know is why are you reading it now?", I asked with a calm 'Mom voice', which of course only shows up when we're asking a rhetorical question. 

Casually he responded, "Oh, I just remembered that I needed to learn and memorize something here". 

Then I had to say it. "I hope you realize that you've chosen poorly last night. And that choices always have consequences."

Instinctively, but reluctantly he said, "I'm sorry!"

"Oh, no, no, no. I don't need you to apologize", I quickly responded. "If anything, you need to apologize to yourself for making a bad decision. You do see that's what you did, right? Your behavior shows that to you, gaming is more important than school work and responsibilities. And I keep reminding you...CHOICES HAVE CONSEQUENCES. When you make a decision, you have to accept its consequences and live with them. YOU will carry those consequences, not me."

I was done talking after that and neither did my son have anything else to say. I hope his silence meant he digested more than just his cereal and smoothie. 

All I could think of at that point is that, more than ever, I need my sonthis boy, this maleto be wiser and make good choices in life. I pray he fully understands what accountability means; that inasmuch as I desire that he reaps rewards for positive choices, I know too that poor ones teach immeasurable lessons if he humbly submits to them. 

I pray he understands that it is not I, nor his father, who defines who he is, but only himself and the choices he makes. 

More than ever, with what's going on in our society and the plight of women, I pray he grows up knowing how to treat everyone with respect and dignity, and to fathom the truth that how he treats others is a reflection of who he is. 

May he always choose to be a person of integrity. This is my prayer. 




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