I had occasion to stop at a small appliance repair shop in our town recently. George is the owner and he likes to to talk. I do, too, but in George’s shop, it can take a long time to get out the door once he gets wound up. On this particular day George got to expounding about kids nowadays. You know the conversation. Kids today don’t got no respect. They have life handed to them on a silver platter, etc.

He told me a story about a time when he gave in to his son nagging him to use his three-wheeler in town with his friends. But he cautioned his son, “If anything happens, don’t call me. I won’t come to help you.”

Well, something did happen. His son got hurt. He was afraid to call his dad, but his panic stricken friends called. The dad refused to go. When his wife heard, she was furious. But the dad said, “His friends can get him to the hospital.” George told me he was teaching his son that you have to take responsility for your own actions and that years later his son still remembers that event.” That doesn’t surprise me. I’d remember, too.

I was a parent educator before I retired. I would have to give this dad “A+” on a lot of things. He threatened his son with a consequence and followed through. He made the kid take responsibility for his own actions. He told me how successful his children are today and how responsible they are. Clearly, in his mind, this is due to his letting them suffer the consequences of their actions. This may be true, but I am not sure this scenerio is a good example of how to teach kids about consequences.

I can’t help but wonder what George would say if one of his kids wanted to jump from an airplane without a parashute.