Thursday, March 19, 2015

How I Got Away With It


I mentioned earlier in the week that my oldest was very good about accepting new responsibility but I learned today that he is just as good at getting out of it.

He has begun doing the dishes along with clearing the table.  This means that I have to rewash most of the hand washed dishes and wipe the counter tops when he's not looking.  This morning I picked up a magazine off of the kitchen table and the back page was completely stuck the the tabletop.  I peeled it off and left an imprint of the page on the table.  Sighing, I turned to my oldest.  "Hey bud- I forgot to tell you that wiping the table off is part of your job now.  You will need to get it cleaned off after you clear the table from now on."

"Oh, you didn't forget to tell me that.  You told me that was part of my job when I started clearing the table when I turned five.  But do you know how I got out of it?" He asked mischievously.  "You just forgot and so I never reminded you."

I paused to think about that one before I replied.  First, shame on me for not following through.  Second, I was glad he was honest but I had to tell him how important it is to do the right thing.  "Listen, bud, that was very honest of you and I appreciate that.  But it is your job to do what is expected of you regardless of whether or not I follow up."

"Oh," he said simply.

"Got it?"

"Got it."

My mom used to say to her management team, "You can't expect unless you inspect." That lesson couldn't be more applicable to me today.  I expected him to do the work but I never followed up and checked that he was doing it.  I am not just teaching my kids about doing the job.  They are also watching me to learn how to lead and manage.  I will do my best to set a good example for them.

Do you inspect or just expect?  How can you be sure to follow through when you tell your kids to do something?

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