One day, I was trying to explain the word ‘forever’ to my children. They seemed to have understood and that was the end of it. As days and weeks passed by, when they misbehave, I would tell them that if they don’t behave, I would take a toy away and they won’t see it forever. It did work, at the beginning.
Now, the toys they love to play, seriously, I didn’t have the heart to throw away or give to someone else. They might have sensed it, I am really not so sure. Somehow, the use of the word ‘forever’ began losing its magic.
I bid my time. Once, inside the bathroom, as I gave my two boys a shower, they started horsing around. I am very strict when it comes to giving them a shower, and horsing around is something I do not allow them to do.
I cautioned them on the dangers of horsing around. For the billionth time, I explained that the floor is wet, slipping and falling could hurt them. They did not listen. After repeated pleas for them to stop, I finally warned them. I was about to say that I am taking a toy away from them when I remembered that it doesn’t work anymore.
Now, one of the things they really want to do was to visit Fun Ranch in Tiendesitas. I have nothing against the place; it’s just that it’s far from us. So I decided to sacrifice one place for the sake of reinforcing the value of the word ‘forever’.
As calm as possible, I told them I am not taking them to Fun Ranch – forever. As can be expected, they cried and whined, which I simply ignored.
For weeks, they kept bugging me about going to Fun Ranch, which I refused. Each time they asked, I simply say, “I warned you before to stop misbehaving. You did not listen. I said if you do not stop misbehaving, we would not go to Fun Ranch – forever. You did not stop.”
For what its worth, those times they bugged me and I refused, they never cried. The last time we went there was in 2008, four long years ago. The magic of the word ‘forever’ still works today.
If you are ever to use the word ‘forever’ on your children, one thing I can say is that be careful and do not overuse.