April 15, 2006
Donut and Teenagers
Last night I shared the following object lesson with my children (with varying success.) I told them, you all know how much we love Donut and how much we enjoy her hanging around with us in the house. She is a perfect lap dog. We love for her to watch TV with us upstairs in the media room, Haven enjoys taking a nap with her, I like having her beside me when I have my quiet times in the family room. We all love her little presence wherever we go. Unfortunately, she likes to “go” wherever we go, if you know what I mean.
Sadly enough, as hard as we’ve tried, she is still not completely potty-trained after two years. Our carpet is a mess! As I explained to the kids, we would love to give her complete freedom but we can’t because she has chosen not to obey us. As much as it hurts us, we’ve had to put a baby gate up, isolating her to the family room where we have hardwood floors. Still, she can hang out with us on the couch and be at our feet while we are in the kitchen.
Regrettably, Donut has recently decided that it is still too much trouble to go out the doggie door to do her business. It is much more convenient to simply go whenever and wherever she feels like it. She likes having the freedom to do her own thing, to play by her own rules. Because of this, we have been forced to turn the baby gate into a play pen of sorts and set it up right by the doggie door. If she continues to disobey our house rules then we will have to restrict her freedom further by putting her in the crate all day.
I used this opportunity to show the kids how they could learn from Donut. We want our children to enjoy special freedoms like a phone in their rooms, access to the Internet, and inviting friends over. We have also set up basic rules in our home. For instance, when they can talk on the phone, where they can go on the computer, when and what they can watch on television, etc.
If they talk on the phone past 10 o’clock, go someplace inappropriate on the computer, or watch TV before their school work is done, then we have to restrict their personal freedom ie; no phone or computer or TV for a week. If they push those limits by sneaking a cell phone into their rooms, using the computer when we are out of the house, watching television while doing their homework, then we are forced to pull in the reins even further ie; take phone out of their room, disable the Internet, or no TV until a certain grade is brought up.
I don’t know how much of this lesson got through to each of the kids. Clancy just asked incredulously, “Are you saying that we act like animals?” Haven, on the other hand, came into the kitchen this morning and told me that she was tempted to get on the phone with her friend after ten last night but then she thought of Donut and realized that she was really going to need her cell phone at the gym today so she didn’t call. Tucker’s response was, “So, let me see if I’ve got this straight, if I don’t pee or poop on the floor then I can get my phone back?”
Posted by weblion at 06:58 PM