Wildland Firefighter Foundation
Wildland Firefighter Foundation

Home / WLF FamilySaid / Comment by Robbie

  • 09/17/2003
  • WildlandFire.com Team
  • 0 Comment


I think your Alice is just planning for the future when she’s big enough to eat your cat. Cuddle up now, squish later…

Another Montana Mom,

I too appreciate the vision and heroism of the women like you who dared to push the limits and choose really different careers in the previous generation(s). I feel those women established the paths or the beginning of the paths. Once when I asked my mom and about it, she said it didn’t seem like anything extraordinary. She was just living her life with permission to be creative and make her own choices and have the consequences of those choices. My dad supported that too and encouraged the girls to play sports and challenge themselves mentally the same as the boys. But the fact of choices having consequences for boys and for girls was always discussed and always guided my parents decisions of how to inform and treat us.

There’s one story told in my family that is about consequences. I wasn’t around but it began one morning when my 3-yr old brother decided he wouldn’t get dressed for preschool. It was a power with mom thing ’cause he was good at getting dressed before. Not about preschool, he loved that. That morning, story goes, mom finally made him get dressed with much tantrum… somehow got him to school which was 4 long blocks from home… on a very public street. He was happy once out the door. This happened a second morning with the same consequences. By the third, mom said she felt a long-term pattern coming on (something to be avoided at all costs when dealing with “bad” behavior)… so she thought of the possible options… what would the consequences be of him not getting dressed?… He’d go to school naked.

She called the school to see if they’d freak out if she brought in a little naked boy and told them why. They said no problemo. Then she talked with my little brother (who is older than me) about why she liked wearing clothes and shoes, warm and cozy… in contrast to no clothes, cold and wet. It was a rainy day in the low 50degrees, definitely on the goosepimply side of comfortable. She didn’t fight with him, just continued getting herself ready and then asked at the door if he was ready. He said yes and off they went, her with her light jacket and umbrella, him stark nekked with everything hanging out. Not a big deal, like everyday people have the choice to go to school without clothes. He lasted less than half a block before he was one big goosebump and decided wearing clothes was a good idea and he wanted his on. She agreed. Came home and he happily got dressed. It never came up again. (She did get razzed by those she worked with “what were you thinking????”)

Fire Momma once told someone in financial disagreement with their SO to get the finances in order and ask the SO to take over if there were complaints about money handling or if the SO didn’t understand why there were money problems. Same idea. Let the other person have the experience with no blame. The consequences of putting your body through something often imparts a greater lesson than simply telling someone about it.

Firefighters train by put their bodies through things over and over again, if my sister is any example. Training takes over in a pinch. Same with life. Start early. If it doesn’t kill or maim them, let them try things out (being the responsible adults/educators, mom would say, know their developmental ability, talk with them about choices at an early age). Homeschooling, well that’s a different set of experiences you can have with a kid … in contrast to discussing with the kid the choices she/he makes within a public school setting. In my experience one is not better than the other. It just depends on whether you spend time creating a learning setting at home and work with them there or take time to work with your kids at school and at home about choices that come up at school. The two are not mutually exclusive, either, kids learn at home and at school and everywhere inbetween. All part of the creative process.

Oh my, I have gone on… Thanks for your comments about careers, AMM, it got me started. Sammi the “private dance performance” for dad, nice one, another creative way of letting them have the experience they want.


The views expressed are not those of this site, this blog or its affiliated companies. By posting your comments you agree to accept our terms of use.

Leave a comment