My nine year old daughter Kate had just finished the best game of her short basketball career. Scored more points than any other player on the team. Stole the ball several times. Led in rebounds. She was on top of the world.
But with the win and her stellar play…came an attitude that I had not seen in a while. Before we were even out of the gym she was serving up a healthy dose of lip service. I cannot remember what she wanted….a snack at the concession stand or something. She would not leave it alone. I said no. Then I said no. Then I said no again. It was obviously not working, so I turned to her and sternly said “Do you want to sleep in the box tonight!”
After I said it, I froze for a second. I was surrounded by dozens of parents and kids….not good…especially since I was a basketball coach for many of them.
“Wait!, I said. You don’t understand. She loves sleeping in the box!” Yikes, that didn’t really help I thought to myself. Deeper and deeper I dug.
You see, two weeks earlier we got a new big screen TV. It came in box that any kid would die for. Big, heavy and roomy. As a matter of fact, Kate made a fort out of the box and had been sleeping in it for a week.
Why the story? I was not threatening to put Kate in the box. I was threatening to keep her out of it. Yet, perception is reality.
In the end, the parents got a laugh, I got a lesson and Kate got her box back.