I don’t watch Dr. Phil every day. Some of his shows are just ridiculous or beyond disturbing. Today was the exception. He had two sets of parents who were both supporting their adult kids. Basically, the kids were slugs and the parents paid for everything. It was interesting to watch, if not a bit sickening.
But Dr. Phil said something today that made me think, “You know, you’re not very far from that yourself.” One of the moms kept jumping in to try to make everyone think that her kids were helpless in the money department (not even close to the truth). This wasn’t the first time she had done it and Dr. Phil turned to her and gave her one of those tones of voices I hope I never hear from him.
He told her that her sense of feeling good about herself was more important than letting her kids suffer their own consequences (I paraphrased, I can’t remember exactly). Owie. I can be guilty of that. Mostly it’s in the area of not wanting my punishment I administer to the kids to hurt too bad. I feel guilty if they’re upset. I realized in that moment that my “guilt” is nothing short of a scheme of Satan. He wants me to feel bad, so I don’t get on the kids so much. If I’m lazy when it comes to my discipline, then my kids don’t benefit. See how sneaky the ol’ devil is?
So tonight Austin decided to do something he knew he shouldn’t have. In fact, he had just gotten in trouble for it at dinner. It’s a recurring theme and it has to stop. After “it” came out of his mouth, it took him about .002 seconds to realize he’d done messed up. I looked at him and said, “Why did you do that?” I’m sure you know his answer . . . . . .”I don’t know.” He had wanted to watch a show on t.v. and I told him THAT was over and he could spend the remaining hour before bedtime in his room.
And then the guilt set in. The feeling bad that he was going to miss his show. Oh sure, I talk a big talk but when it comes down to it, I can still waffle back and forth on discipline issues. And then (cue triumphant music) I remembered what Dr. Phil said. OCH!! I had to stick to my guns on this one and not let me not wanting to feel bad get in the way of what was really important. So I sent my sniffing and teary eyed son to his room.
And guess what? The guilt (which was completely false and not real guilt – just another scheme of the devil) was gone in about, oh, 2 minutes. And who knows, maybe he’ll learn something. The hubs just got back from his small group and I informed him of the events of the evening. I’m sure he went and had a talk with Austin . . . .I just didn’t want to be there when he did!