Parenting is hard. And I realize that this isn’t a new idea, especially to those of you in the thick of raising a 3-5yr old child. But there is just something about those ages that is TOUGH!
And quite honestly, I often get lazy. I know that I am not always the best example but last night I needed to be a good example, even when it would have been easy to let this one thing slide.
Elijah dug some items out of his backpack before dinner. A pirate’s treasure if you will (see picture above).
I asked him where he got it and he said that his teachers gave it to him. Something seemed fishy about that so I started asking him some more questions.
When I came out and just asked him if he was lying…well his face turned down to the ground, he sighed and said yes.
He didn’t have to tell me…I already knew.
So I asked him to get a baggie (which he did reluctantly and with pouting) and told him that we had to bring the items back to school.
“But I really just wanted them mom!!”
Oh son, I know! I get it, I really do. And if I were judging this situation on the value of the items…maybe I would justify letting it slide.
But on principal alone it is important that he learn this hard truth about honesty.
I told him that God wants us to always tell the truth, that we can’t take things just because we want them…and that we were going to have to tell his teachers the truth.
He asked me if he could just sneak them back into the classroom. Oh yes he did!
I told him that wasn’t being honest either.
He knows it was wrong to take them, and he needs to admit what he did. I promised him that I would stand with him so he didn’t have to do it alone…and said that I was pretty sure his teachers would forgive him.
But telling the truth was necessary.
So tomorrow, on the day that they are also celebrating his birthday a few weeks early, we will be bringing cookies to class for treats and a little bag of pirate treasure and learning the heard lesson on being honest.
Hopefully, if he ever feels like taking something again that isn’t rightfully his, he will think about this experience and remember that there is a consequence when we don’t tell the truth…when we steal.
But he doesn’t have to do it alone. I will stand with him, encourage the good behavior and remind him that I love him even when he makes mistakes.
My God has done the same with me time and time again.
Sometimes the sting of my actions hurts and taking responsibility is something that doesn’t always come easily…but when I do, there is forgiveness and lessons learned.
I don’t expect Elijah or any of my kids to be perfect but I can work to teach them right from wrong. As parents it is all we can do to stay afloat most days, so have faith that you are not alone.
Yes parenting is hard, but I am so grateful that God is standing beside me encouraging me along the journey!