The other day Ricki and I set out for her exercise class. On the way I noticed that she was wearing her “good occasion “ (shabbas) shoes. These are the ones that she promised that she would not wear on weekdays if I purchased them. Then I realized that Ricki, when changing clothes, had taken off her bra as well. I didn’t wait for “three counts and you’re out”. Two were enough. We returned home, and since that would entail missing the bus we were waiting for, she would just have to forgo her class. I am NOT going to pay $10+ for a taxi because she didn’t put on her bra.
Of course, Ricki physically tried to prevent me from returning home, by pushing me and blocking the way, but within 3 minutes, as she realized that I was NOT going to back down, she gave up and returned home with me.
It can not be emphasized too much: Our children need to know that we mean what we say. Yes, sometimes we can make exceptions, sometimes we can be flexible,…. But in general, the message that we need to give is that if I said it, I meant it, and I intend to enforce it…..