This week one of my kiddos confessed to breaking something at school because he/she was just being silly with a classmate. That bothered me. But what really disturbed me was that when he/she was found out by another classmate who said, “You would NEVER do that.” He/she did it again “just to be honest and say that I really did it.”
That kiddo took a dare to do the wrong thing without realizing the poor example he/she was being.
It really was a small thing that was overlooked by the teacher, but that kiddo’s example was tarnished. That kiddo is very honest about the faith of our family and personal convictions, so I knew I needed to use this as a teaching moment.
I corrected my child right away – and in front of siblings because the confession had been in front of them and I knew it could be a teaching moment for them, too. I explained that it was righteous and good to confess (though it was confessed to me with a giggle and more like a sneaky joke). I also explained that more needed to be done. We marched right back into school and that brave kiddo apologized to all the teachers involved. Though they thought it wasn’t that big of a deal, they acknowledged the child’s honesty and having done the right thing.
We went to the store and bought a replacement item for what was broken and that kiddo and I have a date for working off the money our family had to spend for the replacement item.
The next day, the child was also required to apologize to the student he/she was “being silly” with for being a bad example and to the student he/she by whom he/she was dared for being a bad example and making a wrong choice.
Afterschool that day when asked how it felt to be in the right with God and others again and forgiven, the child said with a smile, “It feels good and I sure won’t do THAT again.”
Training our children takes consistency and awkward conversations and hope that the lessons will be learned NOW and not later. May it really be true that our kiddo won’t do THAT again (or anything like it) and may be it be a lesson learned (not experienced) for the siblings, too!