Cinderella Castle


Ask Rene:
My Husband Made A Promise To Our Daughter That We Can’t Keep! Help!


Hi Rene,

I need your advice!

Our daughter Sally has been struggling at school recently – so in an effort to motivate her my husband, Derek (in a moment of weakness) told Sally we would all go to Walt Disney World if she improved her grades.

Well Sally worked really hard and is now doing much better in school… but as you may have guessed, now we’re not in a financial position to afford the trip. I was recently laid off from my job and my husband’s hours have been cut. Any sort of holiday is just not feasible at the moment.

I’m angry with Derek for making a promise he can’t keep and don’t know how to tell Sally she now can’t go. Should we just put the trip on a credit card and go anyway? Or tell Sally the truth…

Please help Rene – I trust your instincts!

Carolina, Memphis



Dear Carolina:

Thanks for writing. I can see where this is troubling. The one critical piece of information missing from your letter is Sally’s age. For the sake of this answer I am going to assume she’s in late elementary or middle school, which would put her between 10 and 13 or so. If I were in your shoes there are a couple of things I would do.

4. Work Through Your Anger With Derek

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Lastly I would encourage you to forgive Derek. He had no way of knowing you were going to lose your job or that he was going to have his hours cut. Holding on to that anger toward him will not help you get through this in a cohesive manner and could actually damage your own health and happiness. You are going to need each other now more than ever.

My own situation of the last several years actually mirrors yours quite a bit. So in closing I would remind you that nothing stays the same forever. Good times, bad times, they are all fleeting and you just need to hang on. But I think something surprising might happen, I know it did with me. I learned so much about my family and myself; about who we really were once everything had been stripped away. I leaned how resilient, understanding even forgiving my kids were and I taught them lessons on how to get through life when things are not going your way. Like my own children, Sally will learn those unspoken lessons from you and then use them in her own life so it’s important that you come through this challenge successfully.

I once heard someone say adversity is the breakfast of champions. So get yourself a big ol’ spoon and eat up. It will make you and Sally better and stronger for it.

Good luck, mommy!

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(Editor's Note: This piece ran in its original format on 10/27/2010)