This is Debra's story. I was aghast at the time she told me about it, but learned quickly her method was an improvement over mine, and adapted her no-nonsense attitude when needed, to which I will be forever grateful. I just wish I had learned it a bit earlier than I did.

Debra's daughter, Susie, would lose her shoes, time and time again, by not placing them in one spot or where they belonged. This would cause Debra to be late at work more than once. Debra told Susie that she would take Susie to school without her shoes the next time she lost them. Sure enough, one morning Susie could not find her shoes again. Debra refused to be late one more time and loaded Susie in the car, sans shoes. Once at the school, she explained the situation to the office who, thankfully, helped Debra by keeping Susie sitting in the office the entire day. Susie was incredibly relieved to see school's end, and never once lost her shoes again. Nor was Debra ever late for work again, at least for that reason.

I viewed Debra's attitude of "too bad, so sad" as heartless until I woke up to the fact that if Debra had not done this, as hard as it might have been, Susie would not have realized Debra meant what she said, Debra would follow up on what she said she would do, and Susie would not have learned the responsibility of keeping track of her shoes, which flowed to other objects easily after that episode.

A friend stated she was considered to be "A mean mommy" because she refused to take a forgotten lunches to school. I always took the forgotten lunches. It's so easy, now, to look at this and know what I SHOULD have done. I should have taken the lunches once, maybe twice, and with appropriate cautions to the children, then never take another. A few hungry tummies might make them take more responsibility for remembering lunch. While her children might think she was mean now, I wonder what they will think training their own children? Bet her children turned out to be more responsible than mine!!

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