There it was!
Staring back at me as if to ask “What are ya gonna do about it, huh?” A big fat zero on my son’s math homework assignment… again. I wanted to scream at the top of my lungs but instead I immediately started rubbing the back of my neck, which is exactly what I do when I feel stressed. Let me tell ya, stressed? Oh yes!
Honestly, I really was feeling hopeful as I logged onto my son’s school web site that day to check his grades for the week.
Yes, his grades had been slipping the last couple of weeks.
Yes, Keith & I had taken appropriate steps and removed some of our son’s privileges as a consequence.
Yes, we told my son that we are so proud of him and he could do so much better.
Yes, he was sorry and apologized.
So what’s up with the big zero? It wasn’t as if he did the assignment and got a low grade. He didn’t even turn the assignment in! I thought he had learned his lesson this time. What about that long talk we had regarding poor choices and consequences to actions. I thought he understood.
As I continued to rub my neck, I began thinking about that dang Xbox which has been occupying way too much of my son’s time and attention. All if his friends play too and it’s become a (slightly addictive – in my opinion) social networking activity. What ever happened to “come on over and let’s play football in the yard”?
It was time this “stealth” mom to take action.
I called a close friend who’s son plays Xbox with my son and confided in her about our little problem. She confessed that she was having the exact same struggles with her son. Together, we came up with a plan to limit the amount of time our boys could play Xbox and agreed to pray for one another. When my husband came home from work, I shared with him too all that had transpired. We prayed together and decided to talk with our son later on that day.
When our son came home from school, we all sat down and talked about his grades, our concerns about Xbox and the new rules of play moving forward. We allowed him to ask questions and explain his side of the story. Most importantly we told him that our decisions made after much prayer, discussion and the fact that we loved him and wanted the very best for him. We told he that he may not agree with our decision but that he would have to trust our love for him.
Amazingly, he understood and agreed with us about everything! God was definitely at work and we were so thankful that this situation brought us closer together as a family and didn’t cause division or anger.
I’m so glad that God allows the little inconveniences like Xbox and incomplete assignments to help mold and shape us into the loving and obedient family He longs us to be.