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501 Lake Avenue South - Suite 200
Duluth, MN 55802
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No birthday for you…

My son spent the better part of last school year generating phone calls from his school to my work.  I got to know the front office staff at the elementary quite well.   Now he didn’t do anything heinous.  As a matter of fact, he’s was just being a normal 1st grader. Pulling pigtails, the occasional talking out of turn, fun with bodily functions  and general insolence.    I grew weary of these calls.   So we  made a handshake deal, my son and I, heading into the new school year.  No more calls from school.  No more screwin’ around on the bus and no more touching/punching people.  “I promise Dad” he said.  I believed him.

Day one of 2nd grade.   Phone call.  Screwin’ around on the bus.  Again.  So how did I address this?  I took away his 8th birthday this past Saturday.   Yup.  No presents.  No special dinner at his restaurant of choice.  Nothin’.  No fishing (his favorite thing in the world to do) and no golf.  Lots of yard work, house cleaning and time to reflect on his actions in his room.   I have received a lot of flak for being a “mean parent”.   Now he does have a chance to earn his birthday back.  I have told him that if my phone is quiet for the next two weeks, if there are no calls from school, then we will celebrate the fact that he is 8 years old with cake and gifts and dinner and fishing and so on.  Nothing would please me more.

As a divorced Dad, it’s very, very hard to play the bad guy.  You want your weekends with the kids to be overflowing with quality time and laughs and hugs and memory making.   But in this day and age,  now more than ever,  my wife and I owe it to our kids to instill a sense of accountability for their actions.   I hope later in life they look back and thank me for it.  I know I thank my folks everyday.


Amy September 23, 2010

Way to go! Stick to your guns. Speaking as an early childhood teacher, too many parents either don’t care, find it easier to give in / cave so they don’t have to deal with whining, etc…….and look at how a lot of the kids today act! I wouldn’t be sitting here today writing you this had I acted anything like most do today! If there had been a call from school – well, that would have ended it all right there too! You are instilling good behavior, manners and hopefully some common sense into your children.

    jason September 24, 2010

    Thanks Amy. Today is the last day of his 2 week birthday suspension. He just has to make it to 3:00 and he’s home free!!!