My middle son walked into my room after dressing for church; he was wearing the same dress shirt he's worn the last three Sundays.

"Hey, Stephen, why don't you wear something different?" I suggested.

"Why?" he asked.  "This one is my favorite, and it's clean." 

"Well," I explained, "you have several handsome shirts, but people are going to think that's the only one you own."

He looked at me squarely and did not miss a beat.  "Mom, what people think doesn't matter nearly as much as what I know to be true."

My first thoughtWell, I'll be darned.  The boy has been listening after all.

My second thought:  Well, I'll be darned.  I just got a smack-down from a ten year old.  

54 thoughts on “Turnabout

  1. Kristin says:

    I can’t recall in almost 11 years of parenting, how often I’ve tried to get my kids to do things, and I’ve rationalized that it’s because of how I want people to view my kids. Wrong! It’s how I want them to view ME! And our kids are no dummies – they see right thru it, don’t they? Hmmm. We need thema s much as they need us, don’t we? πŸ™‚

  2. Christy Deneke says:

    I love it! My daughter is three, but I absolutely love it when she spouts off something that I have been trying to impress upon her. I just stand there gobsmacked, then I smile and say, “Well thank you for reminding me.”
    What a sweet little man you must have!

  3. Kristy says:

    Don’t they always seem to surprise you like that?? My kids do the exact same thing! And I’m always caught off guard which is really starting to make me wonder about myself! You should be very proud, though, because I don’t really think I know of another ten year old who would have that much insight. Now, when can I send my kids over for a lesson!!!

  4. Amy @ Cheeky Cocoa Beans says:

    I wonder if it’s the age…my 11 year old also wears the same favorite shirt every Sunday. πŸ™‚ He gets it honest, though–I tend to “get dressed out of the dryer,” wearing the same few things over and over. πŸ˜‰

  5. Lisha says:

    Congratulations to you! It is so exciting when you realize they have learned a truly important concept … even it is at your expense! lol!

  6. The Prudent Homemaker says:

    Good for him! And you too, for teaching him!
    I thought of you yesterday. I have to say first, that I orginially came to your blog because the name was so darn funny.
    And then yesterday–I opened my dryer–and found a rock, sitting right there on the ledge inside the door.
    Time to check the boys’ pockets!

  7. Fiddledeedee says:

    Just drives me crazy when they’re reasonable. πŸ™‚ That’s a good boy you’ve got there.
    My girl wears the same tired Easter dress from 2 years ago every single Sunday to church, if I haven’t hidden it. But it has way more to do with excellent twirling capabilities than anything remotely reasonable.

  8. whimzie@Snoodlings says:

    Don’t you love it when they hand our words right back to us? Whenever I hear my voice coming out of my kids it either encourages me that they heard me when I didn’t think they were listening or reminds me to choose my words more wisely. (Like when my daughter tells her brothers, “I don’t want to hear another word from you, Mister!”)

  9. Bonnie says:

    Yup, that deserves a pat on the back for your parenting but I TOTALLY understand the smackdown…my 6 year old (the charming one) does it to me quite often.

  10. BlueCastle says:

    Oh wow. That’s one smart kid you got there. I need to be more like that.
    My dad just bought both of my boys brand-new suits for church – which is a huge treat because my kids have only ever worn used suits. After wearing them ever Sunday for the past two months, my 6 year old just asked if he could wear something different because he was “tired of wearing the same thing every week”. πŸ™‚

  11. Beck says:

    My mother would wail “What kind of mother will people think I am?” when we wanted to do something that she didn’t approve of, which always puzzled me. The kind of mother she was, maybe?
    My son has a blue shirt he LOOOOVES to wear. He’s not too bad about alternating it now, but it obviously pains him not to always wear his Beloved Blue Shirt.

  12. Holly says:

    What a wonderful story. My almost 10 year old came home today telling me about a friend’s new expensive shoes all the kids were drooling over. My son said he told them all “What’s the big deal- we all have shoes.” So proud of him!

  13. Lisa says:

    Impressive! My daughter’s started up her own passbook savings account, and we’re trying to drum into her head that while it’s good to save, it’s NOT so good to brag about exactly how MUCH you’ve saved LOL!
    I guess these little things add up to an awful lot when it comes to character education… just another example of the “power of small!”

  14. Nicole says:

    I am laughing out loud right now, because I have had this IDENTICAL conversation with my 12 year old! Don’t you hate it when their right??
    I don’t think boys develop that I-Shouldn’t-Wear-That-Twice-(or three times…)-In-A-Row gene until later.

  15. Suz says:

    lol…how cute! Don’t you just love it when you realize they’ve been listening! Then… it hits you, they were right and you were .. dare I say it… not. πŸ™‚

  16. talita says:

    What a great story! Just goes to show what a great mom you are, even if your boy wears the same shirt every Sunday πŸ™‚

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