Where did I go wrong? What could I have done different? Why does he/she act that way toward me?
These are all questions I have heard other parents say while in distress about their child’s behavior. Since my children are still very young, I have not uttered these words myself and hope I never do. If I play my cards right I will do a good job of observing the successes and failures of others and implement them in such a fashion as to eliminate the need to ever utter those words.
Hindsight is 20/20
No statement has ever been truer. We regularly, and by we I mean everyone, put into practice this very saying. It’s why we study history, in hopes of not repeating our screw ups. You can do something about it.
All decisions revolve around pain and pleasure
Don’t believe me, try it. When you wake up in the morning on a workday your bed may feel so good that you don’t want to get up. If you don’t get up then you might be late for work or worse, get into an accident because you were rushing to work and miss the whole day. So, you go to work, because the pain of losing your job outweighs the pleasure of staying in bed.
It always works this way. Each scenario you employ will have varying degree a of both pain and pleasure in them. This is how salesmen get you to by things. They attack your greed and the pain of missing out on the deal overcomes your objections to spending the money. Unfortunately, after the purchase we feel more pain in the form of buyer’s remorse.
Apply this same principle to how you raise your kids. Any decision you make now will have a future affect. What this means is not only should you weigh pain and pleasure now, also weigh it for the future.
A decision yo make now may make life easy for you now and painful later. Look at the overall picture and decide the final benefits. Let me give you an example:
We all look back on our childhoods and see at least one thing our parents could have done better. For me it was learning how to manage money. I’m not sure why they didn’t take the time to teach me how to budget and save, but the end result was I had debt that I could have done without. A painful lesson for me in the school of hard knocks money management course.
I will take that and give my children a good education in money. At least I can speak from experience on what not to do. So, the convenience (pleasure) on my parents translated to debt (pain) for me later in life.
As parents we can’t afford to be selfish. A little pain now can lead to less pain later. What’s the saying, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound correction? Something like that. the point is seeking pleasure now could lead to a lot of pain later. My poor money skills led me to ask for money from my parents after I was on my own.
Yes, I know it’s cliche, but it’s the truth. If you do it now (whatever it is) you will find life to be easier with your kids later. Of course, there’e the added bonus of it getting easier and easier the more you do it.
Leave a comment and tell me how pain and pleasure have played a role in relationships with your kids.