Family & Relationships

A Lesson in Responsibility

By Rachel Paxton

My husband and I have a 10-year-old daughter, and we like to joke with her that we gave her a bike so that we would have something to take away from her when she gets into trouble. She doesn't think that's very funny, but what she doesn't realize is that we are just trying to teach her to be more responsible.

Our daughter had wanted a new bike for a long time. We looked around at different stores, compared prices, and waited until we found a good deal on a good quality bike. She knew that we were taking this purchase very seriously and that she was going to have to take good care of her bike in order to keep it.

We showed her how to lock her new bike and told her that it was to be locked up every night next to the front porch. She faithfully locked it up every night for just over a week, until my husband woke me one morning to tell me she had forgotten to lock her bike the night before and that she would not be allowed to ride it that day.

I woke her up and patiently explained why she couldn't ride her bike that day. Her face fell, her frown deepened to a look of anguish. "But Mom," she said, "I didn't lock it because I thought I was going to ride it again yesterday." "I don't want to hear any excuses," I said, "You didn't lock your bike up and you don't get to ride it today."

She sulked for a while longer until she realized we were not going to change our minds. I could tell by the look on her face that she was thinking to herself, "don't forget...don't forget...don't foget." That was a very long day for her, not being able to ride her bike.

You can bet she won't forget again...at least for awhile.

Originally published at Suite 101. Rachel Paxton is a freelance writer and mom who is the author of What's for Dinner?, an e-cookbook containing more than 250 quick easy dinner ideas. For recipes, tips to organize your home, home decorating, crafts, holiday hints, and more, visit Creative Homemaking at http://www.creativehomemaking.com.


 
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