I am a huge believer in follow through. If I say I am going to do something, I do it. Even if I'm sick. Even if I decide I don't want to do it. If I say I am going to be somewhere, I am there, although I am often late (because of the 4 yahoos--I'm counting husband here too--that I generally have to bring with me or get settled before I am allowed to leave my home).
And this is a value I am hell-bound determined to instill in my children. Someone's word is their bond, or should be.
If for some reason I have no choice but to cancel (kids being sick or something unforeseen), I feel terrible and call whomever I am letting down to beg forgiveness.
Unfortunately, an awful lot of parents seem to think that it is perfectly ok if their children change their minds midstream even if they have already committed to something.
Rather than telling their child, "I am sorry that you have decided you would rather do "X," but you made a commitment to do "Y," so you are going to follow through because you would not want someone to change his or her mind and leave you in a lurch." And if my children complained, I would, in some kind but resolute motherly way, tell them to suck it.
There have been two instances in recent weeks in which kids N and I know have agreed to do something and then changed their minds because they would rather do something else with other friends. Unfortunately, their parents didn't hold them to their agreements, and it just makes me seethe inside. Aside from being a complete waste of time (preparations made and emails sent and expectations in mind), it is also hurtful to leave others to do things without the help you promised them.
Sure it stinks to hold one's child accountable to their promises and commitments because of the potential whining and complaining and sour-puss faces. This is punishment for the parent, to be sure, but it is necessary to instill in children that they can't just whily-nily drop plans or change their minds when they've said they will do something.
Oh wait. Adults do that kind of shit too?
No wonder I am so misanthropic.