When moms have each other’s backs, kids win. When moms work together to teach our kids about character, our world becomes a better place.
A couple of weeks ago, my daughter walked in the door, clearly rattled. She blurted out that another girl in the high school parking lot had t-boned her car. My knee jerk reaction wasn’t the picture of calm I would have liked. “WHAT?! Why didn’t you call me? Are you OK?” She burst into tears.
Yes, she was fine, as was her brother and her friend who had been in the car. The dent was about 12 inches and on a car that already has lots of wear on it. But in the heat of her first accident, both my daughter and the other girl messed up big time: they did not exchange information—not even names.
As I calmed her down and told her accidents happen, I knew I needed to teach my child this important lesson in how accidents should be handled. She needed to know what to do in the future in case the stakes were higher. And, as a mom, I was almost positive the other girl’s parents would want to make sure she learned this too.
It took some doing but finally my information got to the other girl’s mom and the phone call I got was amazingly refreshing. It could have gone so many bad ways—defensive, angry, or she could have ignored me. Instead, I got a mom a lot like me who was upset her daughter not only didn’t handle things correctly, but completely livid she hadn’t even told her parents it had happened. Oops. She made sure to tell me this was going to be dealt with and, better still, her daughter would be calling me to give me insurance information and an apology–which she did.
Two weeks passed and I hadn’t gotten a quote yet. To be honest, I wasn’t sure I should as the car has other bumps and scrapes and was it worth having this girl pay to fix? The answer came in a phone call yesterday. Her mom called to see if I knew how much it would cost. When I told her what I was wrestling with, she asked me to please get it fixed. She wanted her daughter to learn a valuable lesson and one that would hurt in the pocketbook since she paid her own car expenses and had a job. “Would you help this mom teach a lesson?” My answer was “Of course!” And I made sure to tell her what a good mama I thought she was.
Kids need to learn their actions have consequences or the world will be a startling and painful place. I didn’t need this child to give a pound of flesh but helping her mom teach her to be more careful driving with a life lesson from real consequences? That I could do.
When moms have each other’s backs, kids win. At some point we stopped doing that. While it’s a good thing to want to parent your own kid in your own way, there is such truth in the overused quote that it takes a village to raise a child. Whether the rest of my daughter’s car looked pretty wasn’t important to this mom. But having her daughter learn to fix what she broke was one lesson she didn’t want to miss out on.
Moms, let’s remember to be kind to one another and supportive of moms in our circles.
Let’s give a smile to the mom wrestling a tantrum-throwing toddler back into the stroller, knowing she’s teaching boundaries.
Let’s encourage a mom choosing to ground a kid for breaking a rule, knowing she’s teaching consequences.
Let’s tell a mom-friend when you catch her kid somewhere they shouldn’t be, knowing you are helping her teach accountability.
With each choice to support each other and encourage each other in this tough job of parenting, we reinforce good character in our kids. The world of tomorrow will benefit if we stick together to raise responsible kids.
What’s one time you’ve had another mom or dad help you teach a valuable lesson to your child? I’d love to hear your comments.