Something happened recently at dance that gave me a chance to teach Madison a very valuable lesson. While I didn’t relish teaching the lesson in a very public setting, I felt strongly that it was a lesson that she needed to learn at that moment. I guarantee that it is indelibly etched in her brain now.
Madison is on the competitive dance team. This was her choice at the beginning of the year. To say that it has been an adjustment for our family is probably an understatement. The difference between dance for fun and competitive team is night and day. One of these differences is that team girls are expected to practice DAILY. All 5 of the dances. It’s not suggested either. It is a clear expectation.
Since team girls are expected to practice DAILY, it is also expected that last weeks problems will be corrected for this week. Madison knew what she needed to work on . It was suggested several times that she do just that. She did not heed my suggestions. Rather than hound her about it, I decided to let her deal with the natural consequence of not practicing. This late in the year, the girls are working on specific things to perfect their routines for recital. Recital is right around the corner. There are not a lot of practices left. There is no doubt when practice is over what needs to be worked on that week.
When called out in the dance room about practice, Madison said she had practiced a lot that week. Ummm, no she didn’t. Did she practice? Yes. A lot or as much as she was supposed to ? Nope. Did she know this when she answered? You betcha. We had talked in the car beforehand about how she had not practiced as much as was expected. Now, at first, I thought I had misunderstand the question. I am after all in the waiting room a few feet away from the actual practice room. Then the next row performed and the teacher was not happy and asked what everyone was practicing. Clearly, not the not the move she had taught them. Everyone had said they practiced all week. It became apparent to me that Madison had in fact led the teacher to believe that she had practiced the required amount. This left me in a dilemma. Do I call her out on it or let it go?
It was really not a dilemma at all. It was my opinion that she had clearly lied about practice. Was it a big lie? Would it matter in the grand scheme of life? Probably not. I mean, the world is not about to end because Madison misrepresented her practice schedule. BUT, it was not acceptable to me. Let’s start with the fact that it was not glorifying to God. Bending the truth to cover your own butt is a worldly view.
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
God would not approve of Madison misrepresenting her practice schedule to the teacher in order to not get in trouble. It was a lie. There is no other way to say it. My job as her mom is to teach her to do what God approves no matter what. The truth is always the way to go. You can not go wrong by telling the truth in any situation.
I know what you’re thinking? It’s dance practice. Nobody cares but her and the dance teacher. I’m sure there were moms in the waiting room who thought the same thing. I needed to teach her that if you don’t maintain integrity in the little things then you won’t do it with the big things either. You get used to covering your butt no matter what for the insignificant things then it will come naturally for the bigger ones. All of a sudden, you have an integrity issue. Integrity is a funny thing. You can lose it in a heartbeat but it takes a long time to get back.
When she came out to change her shoes, I made her go back in and admit to the teacher that she had not practiced as much as she should have. Being the drama queen that she is, she cried and had me walk in with her. Funny thing is the teacher explained to her that she was relieved to find out that Madison had indeed not practiced. She was worried that Madison was not understanding the directions. Madison apologized for not being truthful. It’s a lesson she won’t forget for a long time, I hope.