Second Chances–Do We Need Them?

24 Sep

Thank goodness for second chances! If no one gave me a second chance (in relationships, at work, etc.), I sometimes wonder where I would be. So, it’s always shocking to me how many people I meet don’t believe in second chances–at all.I find this especially common in parenting. When I met with families who were having parenting struggles, one common theme popped up again and again: many parents don’t give their children a second chance to prove _______(fill in the blank).Three Young Girls Lying On A Bed In Their Pajamas

In our house, the big struggle is sleepovers. We’ve been trying sleepovers for about three years now, and we must be gluttons for punishment. Have you ever been around a nine year-old after they’ve had a sleepless night and lots of sugar? Don’t try it.

Invariably, my daughter comes home from sleepovers cranky, tired, and plain mean. It ruins the day, really. So, we’ve made a rule: if she behaves in a way that’s unacceptable after a sleepover, sleepovers simply go away–for six weeks. Not a year. Not never. Just six weeks.

You may be thinking I must be crazy for not just putting an end to the misery and banning sleepovers altogether. But, my argument is this: children grow and change at such a rapid rate that the person they are today could be far different than the person they will be in a week. So, why not give them another try?

So, every six weeks, we give it another shot. And, to be fair, we’re always disappointed.

But, the day will come when she’s not a cranky monster the day after a sleepover. And, if I took away sleepovers forever, I may never get to see it.

So, think about which rules are rigid and which ones are flexible. Do you give your spouse second chances? How do you know when enough is enough?

It’s all food for thought. But, just thinking about it at all is a good start to finding the answers.


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