As I dropped off my daughter at preschool for her Valentine's Day party, I was reminded again how excited kids are about the littlest things. When a teacher says that they're going to do something, the kids get excited. Her teacher, however, told the class yesterday that if they didn't be quiet she would take their party away.
Her teacher’s words put such a doubt in my daughter's mind that, even after I repeatedly assured her, she was adamat that the party was cancelled. If adults continue to do this in her life, she will soon learn that they can't be trusted. Believe me, I know plenty of parents to use this tactic with their children, and they can't figure out why their children don't respond to their threats.
This situation really made me think about my own parenting style, and question whether or not I give and break promises as a reward and punishment. What about my other relationships? Do I fulfill my promises based on how I feel about a certain person at the time, or based on the fact that I gave my word?
If I am truly honest with myself, I would have to admit that I often behave just like my daughter's teacher. That’s not the kind of person that I want my children, or my coworkers and colleagues to know. What about you?
Because I know people use empty threats to control behavior, I was able to promise my daughter that she was indeed having her party, even though "teacher said." We took her bag of Valentines for the class, and got ready for the party that wasn't cancelled.
James 5:12 Above all, my brothers and sisters, do not swear—not by heaven or by earth or by anything else. All you need to say is a simple “Yes” or “No.” Otherwise you will be condemned.