Last week I took my son to buy a pair of cleats for baseball and some sneakers. As we shopped for the sneakers I was clear that he had the final say so on what he got. Obviously I wasn't going to let him get a $200 pair of shoes but if the price was reasonable and he liked them that was all that I cared about.
After shopping for a while the only ones he liked were not in his size. I told him over and over we could go to a different store. As we were leaving we stopped by the clearance rack where we found a nice looking pair of New Balance for just $30 in his size. I asked if he liked them and he said he wasn't sure so I told him to try them on. He did and decided he liked them. I asked him at least a dozen times if he was sure those were the shoes he wanted (since I knew his taste was usually more towards Jordans) and he kept assuring me he did.
The next day he wore them and they looked good.
The following day though he was wearing his old ratty shoes again. I asked why and after literally dragging it out of him he said he doesn't like the new shoes. I asked him when he decided he didn't like them and he said at the store, before I even paid for them. I asked if there were any other reasons and he said no. I wasn't happy.
The last night I spoke to him. I explained that though $30 may not be much to him some kids will never own a new pair of shoes period. And he could have told me at any point prior to wearing them that he didn't want them and I could have returned them. I asked him why he'd lie. After more prying he said his friends didn't like them either. I told him that was not a good reason to not wear something especially something he said he wanted. He again said he never wanted them, he just wanted to make me happy.
I told him I am not happy now. So since he made the decision to not be honest with me or to stand up to his friends I am making him wear the shoes. If he truly hates them (as he says he does) he should have said something to me.
This isn't about the shoes. It's about being honest, standing up for yourself (even to you parents in a respectful way) and accepting the repercussions of your decisions.
My compromise was he has to wear the new shoes 2 days each week... IN PUBLIC. He said I am being unfair and said he should have to wear them for 3 days and then never again. I told him he's just not getting it. It's about more than the shoes, it's about building character and being the type of person people respect and making the right choice and accepting what happens when you don't.