Flimsy Excuses: 10 Ways to Help the Kids Out of the Absurd

Lisa Cherry —  June 26, 2013

scrabble 7366181556_1716db65aeBy Lisa Cherry

Flimsy? Isn't that an odd sounding word? When I read it I seem to think of paper plates for some reason. Especially when they are in the hand of a five year old who is carrying a plate of spaghetti from the kitchen stove to the dining room table! Ok, honestly I think of the floor and his shirt.

Flimsy according to dictionary.com has a couple of meanings.

adjective
1. without material strength or solidity: a flimsy fabric; a flimsy structure.
2. weak; inadequate; not effective or convincing: a flimsy excuse.

What happens when our kids' world works with "flimsy?" When they offer up inadequate, unconvincing excuses and they get what they want? 

Unfortunately the flimsy habit can lead to a flimsy life of dishonesty, irresponsibility, insensitivity, or laziness.

So how do we as parents navigate them away from flimsy and toward a life of strength? Here are the top 10 ways I thought of:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA1.  Develop an ear for flimsy much like a mother develops an eye for a spaghetti-covered paper plate.

2. When a flimsy excuse surfaces, trace the origins of the excuse to its logical consequences with your child. (Ex.: Son, you say you ran out of time. But the fact is that your room is not clean, yet you had time to check your email, cook a pizza, and talk on the phone to three people. This does not make any sense.)

3. Help your child/teen identify the real problem instead of the flimsy excuse version of the problem. (Ex.: Seems to me, son, the problem of your dirty room is not a problem of the amount of time but the prioritization of the time you had available.)

4. Admit your own struggles with the same form of flimsy, when appropriate. (Ex.: Son, this is a problem I face often at the job.)

5. Use the teachable moment to assist them to come out of flimsy by asking this question:  (Ex.: Son, what should you have done differently?)

6. Give them the explanation of the skill they are lacking. (Ex.: Son, have the courage to tackle the dreaded work in life first. It takes courage and self-control, but it always pays in the end.)

7. Express your intolerance for the flimsy. (Ex.: Son, I will not tolerate flimsy, dishonest-with-yourself types of excuses. )

8. Follow up with logical consequence discipline if the behavior persists. (Ex.: Since you did not find cleaning your room a priority when I asked you to, you may now clean not only your room but the kitchen as well.)

9. Celebrate honest admittance of failures. No one will always succeed. Factor in some failure in your kids....but encourage them to humbly and honestly admit their errors.

10. Put this scripture before your family's eyes:
     Psalm 51:6. Behold, You desire truth in the innermost being, And in the hidden part You will make me know wisdom.

Image sources Martinak15 and gotosira

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 Praise report on Nathan's Mayo Clinic Visit

Thank you so much for your prayers for Nathan. He got a good report from the doctor at Mayo! All scary diagnosis threats were refuted!

He had some complications to the recurring strep infection he has suffered with but doctor is expecting his recovery to come forth now after a few adjustments to his treatment plan. We are praising God for His healing mercies.

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