To my children,
Tonight an argument erupted between two of you and you decided to use some inappropriate words – words that are not allowed in our house.
You have been punished by losing the privilege of having a cell phone until I see attitude improvements
(which, at this point, may be when your phones are rendered obsolete).
This brought about lots of tears and an angrily spewed "it's like we live in a dictatorship!" and "It's not FAIR!"
Sweethearts, I hate to be the one to break it to you… but life is not fair and you DO live in a dictatorship.
This is not a democracy.
You do not get a vote.
Dad and I are the "dictators".
We make the rules.
There is no other option until you move out and create your own little dictatorship.
This is the way it is and I am not sorry.
You are barely teenagers.
You do not have the mental or emotional capabilities to make decisions about important things in your lives.
I know you believe that you are fully capable of being tiny little adults, but until you have a job and are on your own – you live under our set of rules.
This is life.
Things happen that you do not like and it is our job to teach you how to roll with those punches.
Things happen that are not fair and it is our job to teach you that sometimes you win, sometimes you lose.
You may not always be able to control your circumstances, but you can always control your responses.
Today, you did not do a good job of controlling your reactions.
I am disappointed.
In this house, in this family, in our little corner of the world – we do not put each other down.
We do not call one another names that hurt.
We do not use our words to harm others.
THIS is a safe place when the rest of the world teaches you all about life.
So, sweethearts, I took away your cell phones.
You will survive.
I made it 26 years without a cell phone – you will make it for a few days.
You may have to speak to your friends as they sit near you on the bus rather than text them.
You will survive. I promise.
One thing I can guarantee you – if you choose to continue spewing meanness towards your family you will live a friendless, media-free, house bound, Amish existence.