Today I had one of those life defining moments…
It was a typical grocery shopping trip (2 boys with mini trolleys at Coles, zig zagging through aisles, leaving a trail of destruction behind them. You know, the usual). I had promised Tyson (3yrs old) a lollipop for (relatively) good behaviour.
He clutched it excitedly to his chest. It was the highlight of his day. I piled everything into the big trolley at the checkout. Frazzled. Exhausted. How I usually feel after grocery shopping with the kids.
I plonked the boys into the trolley and off we went. But… just metres from the car, Tyson looked up, horrified… ‘Mummy! We didn’t pay for my lollipop!’
‘Oh.’ I exhaled heavily. I could see the car. We were so close. I was about to say ‘Oh well, not to worry.’ But then I looked into his eyes, wide open in dismay and I realised that this moment could possibly shape his views on honesty for the rest of his life. Even though he probably wouldn’t remember it.
I could keep walking, load up the car and get home… teaching him that honesty is important – except when it’s inconvenient.
Or, I could turn the trolley around and make my way back to the checkout, tired boys and melting ice cream in tow. Teaching him the priceless lesson that honesty is important… no matter what.
Reluctantly, I rolled that trolley back to Coles and handed over a $1 coin for his lollipop. Lesson learnt.
What a huge responsibility we have as parents, to shape the minds of little people.
The ad below was banned from television but I think every parent should watch it. Just make sure your kids aren’t around. It’s a little confronting but such a powerful reminder of the incredible influence we have. My words, my actions and my reactions are all being taken in and mirrored back to me.
So, I have to BE the type of person I want my kids to BECOME. Simple.