Finally the janitor asked if he could meet with the girls and demonstrate how hard they made his job of washing the mirror. The girls giggled through his lecture, whispering about being scolded by a maintenance worker. Then he said, "This is what I have to do to get the lipstick off." He dipped his brush in the toilet and scrubbed the mirror until it sparkled. And the girls stopped kissing the mirror! Some people just know how to teach.
I learned a lesson in a visual way, too. I used to leave the radio on in the car. Whenever Dee drove my car, he'd suggest that I turn it off before I parked and took out the key. I thought it was pretty silly of him, a petty complaint. I have to admit I felt a little bit like a teenager rebelling against authority. I purposely left the radio blaring, ready to jolt me with energy each time I started the engine. When our children started driving, Dee wasn't as patient with them, and always got mad when the radio was left on. The kids learned from me that this was a demand they could ignore.
One day 16-year-old Amy jumped in her truck and the music blasted loudly as soon as she turned the key. On the way to some important high school event, she shifted into reverse and backed out without a good look in the rear view mirror.
The BananaDee was just pulling into the driveway. He laid on the horn. The radio was deafening and without hearing his warning, she backed right into him! Bumper cars in the front yard! Until that moment I hadn't seen the light. It could so easily have been me wrecking two cars at once. I've never acknowledged my role in the episode, but I'm taking responsibility now. (I was happy to let Amy take it all, back then!)
Sometimes the lecture isn't as effective as the consequence. I don't kiss the mirror and I don't leave the radio on. And I don't shift the blame anymore.
Have you learned a lesson the hard way?