I Forgot Is Still Disobedience
I am the mother of four beautiful girls. I know that I am very blessed by God. I love to spend time with my girls. Most of the time. There are of course those moments when they drive me crazy! One of my least favorite things that they do is make excuses for why they don’t do what they know they are expected to do. Setting expectations is very important for our children. They cannot accomplish that which you expect, if you do not first communicate your expectations. Be clear and incredibly specific when setting expectations. For instance, I cannot simply say, “put your laundry away”. I must say, “Go upstairs right now, get your folded laundry, take it to your dresser, put each item away in the right drawers, shut the drawers all the way and report back to me.”
If my girls are told to do some chore, my husband and I expect and assume that it will get done properly and in the correct amount of time allotted for them to accomplish it. If not, there are consequences. There was a time in one our daughter’s lives where she was forgetting the chores and responsibilities she was assigned. Every time we confronted her, we were given the same response, “I forgot.” At first, we would give her a gentle reminder. It usually takes me a few days or even weeks before I realize a new pattern has evolved. I began to identify this new normal in her life to get away with disobedience due to forgetfulness. I saw that we had a problem that needed to be solved quickly.
My husband and I sat down with her and explained that just because you forget, you do not get off the hook. Forgetting to accomplish your task is still disobedience. We made sure she understood that the next time she “forgot, she would have the same punishment as she would for simply choosing not to do her work. Forgot is not a valid excuse. We believe in helping our girls understand the why behind the what. In order to teach this, it may require a little extra time in explanation. We told our daughter that when she is all grown up and has a job, her boss will not be ok with her leaving her work undone if she just forgot. She would be fired. We want her to have the ability to keep a job as an adult and that training starts now.
Sure enough, she forgot again later that week. When confronted, she replied, “I forgot.” She was more than prepared for her consequence knowing she deserved what she was getting. It still took a couple of times of consistent discipline to break this habit of forgetfulness, which can also be translated to carelessness. Breaking these habits and instilling good work ethic and responsibility are a few of my many jobs as a parent. A job that I do not take lightly. Therefore, I choose not to overlook this excuse but to go after it and work to correct this careless behavior. Because I forgot is still disobedience.