Long after the twenty-dollar shopping failure, that same son had his first real summer job. For years he had helped around the farm, but this particular year, he had interviewed and been hired to work in an accounting office.
About two days before he was to begin work, it dawned on him that his current wardrobe was inadequate for office work. We agreed and sent him to the mall with a credit card.
At some point we realized what we had done. Our son was at the mall with a credit card and no prior instructions as to what he should purchase or how much he should spend. When I (Kendra) recovered somewhat from my horror, I decided to wait and see what transpired.
About two hours later, our son returned home with multiple bags. As we sat down and braced ourselves for the fashion show, he opened the first bag. Out came a pair of navy blue dress pants accompanied with this narrative: “These cost five dollars. They are only a size too big, and I can wear a belt.” (Actually, they looked very good!)
With those words, we relaxed considerably, and when the final item went on display, we calculated that he had spent about sixty dollars. Not bad, not bad at all.
Perhaps our son’s ability to outfit himself in office attire and spend no more than sixty dollars was aided by the fact that he had not been rescued so many years ago as he foolishly spent his birthday money. He was reaping the benefit of the negative consequences . . . and so were we, as the ones paying the credit card bill.
It’s not easy as a parent to resist the urge to rescue, but doing just that gives your child the freedom to succeed. It is a necessary step in raising a confident, responsible adult.
What positive outcome have you witnessed by “resisting the rescue”?