Guilt as a Parenting Tool

Last night was Stu’s winter semi-formal, Hubbin and I went out and did our own thing and were heading home about midnight. Around then Stu called and asked if we could drop him off some stuff at his after party so he could spend the night (sweats, tooth brush, new socks). I wasn’t really tired yet and we were dressed all spiffy still and whatnot so I told Hubbin I’d accompany him to drop off the bag. Stu didn’t give us the right house number so Hubbin was on the phone with the Mother of Stu’s friend while we were walking up the driveway making sure we were going to the right house and the Dad was out on the front porch asking who we were looking for, when we said Stu he waved us on up to the porch and was holding the door open (beer in hand). He shouted in behind him to Stu and Stu came to the door and stood blocking the doorway to get the stuff. Hubbin said in German “What I’m not allowed to come in? You’re boozing aren’t you?” Hubbin was real angry because Stu essentially blocked us from entering and made it a little awkward at the doorway. We left and Hubbin was fuming on the way home about how rude Stu was. Moreso than the teen drinking Hubbin was fuming about how personally rude Stu was.

Stu came home from the party today around noon and I first saw him in the basement while I was loading some laundry. Then he filled up an empty 2 liter bottle full of water and went back up to his room. Hubbin was ready to pounce, but hadn’t seen him yet and ask me if he was home. I said “Yes, and I could be wrong… but he did take 2L of water up to his room so I *think* he might be hungover” I missed most of the conversation but he explained to him that it wasn’t even the drinking (which aside from being illegal is totally against the exchange student program policy and grounds for immediate shipment back to the home country) it was that he acts all smart and shady like he’s getting away with something and he’s totally not either. I mean Hubbin and I both have above average IQs and we didn’t fall off the turnip truck yesterday, I’m sure 28 & 34 seems all old and crotchety but we’re not old enough to not be wise to your tricks little man. (it is kind of funny because you can totally pick out the lines his friends tell him to feed us to get away with things)

Anyway so Hubbin had a talk with him this morning and I missed most of it, but I did catch the last couple lines that “I don’t want you to be lying to me, you know I wouldn’t give you a hard time about the drinking, a party with the parents there is different than the keg party earlier this year without parents we wouldn’t let you go to. I don’t appreciate being embarrassed that you’re embarrassed I’m there.” 

Then Hubbin came down winked at me and said he was going to “let the guilt simmer for a little while” and asked how I thought he did. We were giggling quietly in the kitchen. I served up some lunch (Stu declined) and while I was in there Stu came into the kitchen and began emptying the dishwasher (his normal chore). Then when I came back in, the dishwasher had been loaded, the counters wiped down (that never happens without asking) the sink had been wiped out (also never happens without asking) and he had moved everything out of the kitchen and was sweeping the floors (never without asking). I told hubbin I think that right there is the confession of a few beers. But when he carried the mop upstairs to mop the bathroom floor (like I asked him to do three times two weekends ago and it never happened) I said “oooh, maybe that’s more than a few beers of guilt right there”

I can take absolutely no credit for this fine day in parenting, Hubbin seems to be quite a superstar parent already 😉

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One thought on “Guilt as a Parenting Tool

  1. That is fantastic!! He had the perfect handle on the situation (and YES, maybe that’s more than beer guilt!!). 😀

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