Wherein the Piper Cub sets out a few moral principles

The Piper Cub set out a couple of moral principles over the past few weeks.

First, he asked if we could watch Men in Black together, the first one, since we’d just seen MiB3. Got to the part where the alien is about to land and possess the farmer played by Vince D’Onoforio. Scene is from the outside of the little farmhouse, and we hear D’Onoforio yelling angrily at his wife, complaining that the supper isn’t cooked, the house is messy, she’s not doing her chores, and so on. Cub got up, shut off the tv, and said “Men shouldn’t yell at their wives like that.” And he went off to bed.

Then, a week ago, he asked for his allowance to go to the convenience store to get some treats. I’m not keen on him spending all his allowance on junk food, but if he was prepared to walk all that way, I was prepared to give him half. Told him he could have the other half in a few days.

A few days later, I remembered I owed him the rest, so I put a fiver on the table and said, “Here’s the rest of your allowance, Cub.” He looked at it, looked at me, and pushed it back across the table. “I’m not entitled to that,” he said. “Sure you are,” I said. “Remember, you only got half on the weekend.” “Yes,” he said, “but a couple of days later I was shopping with Mom and she gave me the rest, so I’m not entitled to this.” I thanked him for being so honest and put the fiver back in my wallet.

You do all the normal parental nagging to get them to do their homework, get up in the morning, do stuff around the house - and then you get the reward, that your kid’s turning out good. :grin:

Sounds like you picked a winner.


My wife does the same thing. She gets mad at a bad guy and turns to another channel. I tell her, “You just have to learn that is the setup for the bad guy to get killed/eaten”.

Looks like you’re both doing great! Did you consider re-giving him the $5 as a reward for his honesty? Perhaps to go in his savings, if he still didn’t want to accept it directly?

IMHO, I wouldn’t. That makes it seem like everyday honesty is something that should be rewarded, as opposed to something that of course you do.

Damn. I thought this would be a thread about a classic general-av airplane. :slight_smile:

He’ll never be the President – he has integrity.

It would be insulting to offer him the money. :face_with_monocle:

Clearly principles are more important to him than money (Bravo!) and to now offer him the money is like winking at him and saying, “Okay, you scored points for honesty, now here’s the money I suspect you really want.” It would be the same as saying you don’t take his principles seriously and that you don’t believe he does either. Holy crap, it would be INSULTING.

How old is he now?

(I remember him as being a wee tot, but then again, I also remember that you’ve been posting about him for rather a while, so…)

I almost cried at this. I get so emotional when I think about my son growing up, and gosh, I sure hope he’s as principled as your kid.

It’s threads like this that make me realize how hard parenting really is. And why Army drill sergeants go through basic all over to become drill sergeants, you have to be aware always of every action and word of your own behavior so that when that youngster grows up, how matches with intent of Mom and Dad, and is able to bridge the teen years.

It’s a work-in-progress, no doubt, but it’s always good to see some light. :grinning:

Not a tot anymore, but I don’t post about him as much, to respect his privacy.

You’ve done well good Sir!

Good points both, thank you. It somehow felt like it would be the wrong thing to do, but I couldn’t put my finger on why.

Currently I parent a 6-year-old and a 1-year-old - we’re still working on the ‘honesty’ thing for the older one (I worry that by calling him out on his white lies - like “yes I did wash my hands for 20 seconds” - we’re just teaching him how to be a better liar), and it’s not even a concept yet for the little’un!

I avoid asking questions like that. If I think the kid has done something wrong, or not done something right, and I care about it, I tell him to do it again. Asking a question where I’m not going to believe the answer is pointless.

Framing an instruction or a criticism as a question is OK in general conversation if that’s the way you talk, but is a poor teaching method. Framing a reminder as a question is OK as long as I’m willing to accept the answer as given.

Yes, good point. We use a combination of methods - which probably is not helpful. We’ll keep trying!

Oh wow! Congrats on your little boy😊

I’m glad he has moral principles. However. I hope he does realize that sometimes they put people in movies who do bad things to show that they’re the bad guys, and will get their comeuppance at the end. Otherwise h’es going to run into a lot of movies he can’t finish.

Good on ya, and good for the cub! Sounds like he is a person of ethics. Lord knows I’d respond the same way with the allowance, but for me it would be a pragmatic decision based on the non-zero chance I’d be caught out when mom and dad talk and that would have a negative effect on future returns.