It always seems that the phrases you dreaded the most from your parents as a small child seem to be the ones you find yourself saying to your own kids. As you speak the words yourself, you can hear your parents in your head.
For me, this phrase was, “No, you can’t quit, you made a commitment.” Commitment, it seems to be less and less prominent in our society today. In a world of disposability, we seem to have lost the art of commitment. It’s a hard trait to learn and even harder to maintain but it is one that is so important to ensuring our children grow up to be successful adults.
I have a child involved in theater and without a doubt there comes a time in the rehearsal schedule that she comes to me begging to either skip rehearsal. These moments typically occur when it’s a crazy week, she is exhausted, school homework is insane and rehearsals are scheduled to run long. All of which make for very legitimate reasons to let her stay home, but I don’t allow it because I can’t. I can’t because I want her to learn the importance of staying true to her word. I want her to learn determination – that characteristic that you must call upon when you are just flat spent. I want her to feel the joy that comes from pushing through and supporting her team members that also are struggling with exhaustion. I want her boss to see her as someone that is reliable and dependable, even when deadlines are tight and the nights run long. And so I repeat to her the phrase my own mom shared with me and know that in the long run I am teaching her the importance of commitment in a world that seems to have forgotten its importance.