My son was throwing a fit....
My heart sank, and I so wanted to take away his pain, his frustration, his ache.....
The last thing I wanted to do was to be the cause of his anguish!!!
And worse, to allow him to do it in public and to not judge myself for being a bad parent...or worse....risk looking like a terrible parent in front of my peers.
But taking the easy road and satiating his temperamental disposition is not my job. (More on why he was temperamental in a moment) . My job is also NOT to indulge in other people's judgments.
My job is to empower my son, to educate him, and to invite him to consider that even at 6 (going on 7) he can find ways to be the boss of his own reality, and that every choice can create a greater future....
So there we were at a conference for kid entrepreneurs (we're all kids at heart)...and for 3 days I did the UNIMAGINABLE>>>>>>>>
Duke was not allowed to watch his ipad for 3 whole days!!
For my son, this was a very big deal!!
At first, he was soooooo upset, but I knew that if I held my ground, something would shift!
And oh my goodness....it did! He went from frustrated and upset to engaged, curious, happy, and attentive.
You see, there was a 17 year old boy there who shared his story.
At 7 years old...his dad did the UNIMAGINABLE>>>
He threw away all his videos games, screens, movies (even Disney movies) and he made him READ. He made him study inspirational speakers. So at 7 years old, his dad made him read anything that was educational - tony robbins, rich dad poor dad, think and grow rich, and so much more.
And for every book he read he had to do a book report on that book and when he did, his dad would pay him $20
And at 7 years old this cute adorable kid was LIVID! He hated his dad for months! Can you imagine?
He hated it!
But he said, over time, it got easier, he started to get happy, he stopped dis-engaging, and being angry. And by the age of 10 this disruptive, angry, disengaged boy turned into a well educated, confident, inspired kid.
As this now, 17 year old motivational speaker, who has already made millions, shared his story, tears welled up, my throat started to close, OMG, I was taken by this story...because it was my story. It was Duke's story.
And here's what he said: "it's not about making millions of $$, it's about making an impact to millions". The impact was the exchange...not the money.
And then I looked at duke and he was mesmerized by this teenager.
What it taught me is perseverance. Sometimes doing what is HARD in the moment, will have a long lasting positive impact for the future.
It's not always easy.
But creating a greater future isn't always easy. (If it were easy - everyone would be doing it)
And so even though he was upset, he knew I was preparing him for the future. After all, he was starting first grade in just a few days and he knew this meant change!
Change is constant and we can either do what's hard initially, or we can resist it...which ends up being harder.
Sometimes, taking things away actually creates greater.