Friday, October 26, 2012


After our amazing experience at the pumpkin festival the night before, we had planned to continue our Halloween-themed weekend with a visit to a nearby pumpkin farm on Sunday afternoon.

It was a bright, sunny, and warm day. We could not have asked for a nicer day for our outing.

But before we were to go, we had some things to do on Sunday morning.

After breakfast, I went to the gym for a workout. When I returned, Kai’s piano teacher had already arrived for his weekly lesson. Kai was giving him a hard time.

Vlad is the most patient man I have ever met. He always encourages Kai and never raises his voice at him, no matter how uncooperative Kai is.

My wife was trying to get Kai to listen to Vlad and do as he instructed. Kai kept moaning that he was too tired and did not want to play the piano.

I told Kai that he perhaps he was too tired to go to the pumpkin farm, too, then.

I thought that this threat would be motivating enough for Kai to finally cooperate. He had been looking forward to our annual visit to the pumpkin farm for weeks.

I went to take a shower. And when I came out, I was disappointed to find that Kai’s behavior had not improved.

Vlad had just left. And my wife had told Kai that our fun afternoon would be cancelled.

Kai was not happy.

At first he was mad. We told him it was his own action that caused this to happen.

Then, he tried to bargain. He would play the piano now and then we could still go. Too late, we said.

We told him that if he behaved well all week and then played piano nicely with his teacher next Sunday, there was still one more chance to go before Halloween. But if it was a rainy day next week, we would not go.

Well, he was mad enough that he could not go on that day, but the thought that he might not go at all made him really upset.

He alternatively ranted, pleaded, and whined.

We did not give in.

My wife got tired of hearing this and left the room.

I went away for a little while as well. When I returned, Kai kept persisting. I spoke to him calmly that he has to make good choices, and he does not always get a second chance.

After a long time, he finally calmed down. He came over to give me a hug.

We played some games. We read. And in the afternoon we drove over to a nearby forest preserve for a walk in the woods.

I was glad to get out and enjoy the beautiful afternoon. But it wasn’t the same as going to the pumpkin farm. Especially for Kai.

This Sunday, we hope to get to the farm. Kai has been very well behaved all week. I suspect that he will play piano wonderfully with his instructor.

It is expected to be 25 degrees colder than it was last weekend. But, if we go, I have a feeling it will a good time.

Here’s hoping.


  1. It's hard to be the parent sometimes, isn't it? But you are very wise. Kids are so smart and so easily manipulate us. I'm hoping for wonderful weather for you this next time!

    1. Yes, kids are very smart so it is important to be clear, consistent, and firm, though it isn't always easy. The weather on Sunday is supposed to be cold but clear, so we may be shivering but we are planning to go if Kai keeps his end of the bargain.

  2. Beautiful fall colors! It is a valuable lesson to learn...that there are ramifications for one's choices. I have met many a person (adult) who had not learned that lesson where I used to work. Many had lost their jobs because of it. Sorry is not a magic word. People think it so...and so, say or act as they please...thinking that they are "owed" a second chance...if they utter these "magic" words.

    Building trust among one's circle involves a lot of restraint at times...but it is a valuable lesson to learn. When children learn that their words and actions carry long term changes their initial actions, and reactions, for the better in the future.

    I know you realize this...I just wish all parents would. Their children would not have to learn the hard way later in life...and those around them would not have to suffer them.

    1. I think all parents want their children to be happy, but some forget that happiness in the moment sometimes need to be sacrificed in order to teach the skills that will bring happiness throughout life. Those times are usually not pleasant, but avoiding them does a disservice to your child.


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