As a mother, I often concentrate on my son's misbehavior. You know, the little things along the lines of him being cheeky, how he didn't want to participate in class or how he took a full scale meltdown are a few examples that run through my mind. There are many times I seriously wonder if I am doing a good job or failing miserably at this whole parenting thing.
In a world full of "me culture", I try to show him that there are people around him and to be conscience of them. He might not have to like everyone and not everyone has to like him but to give respect where respect is due. This is one of the important lesson I want him to learn.
Last summer, we were shopping downtown, on Ste-Catherine street. As we were heading towards HMV, we were walking past a bank. Philip ran up to press the large button with the wheelchair symbol on it. We all know this button opens the door automatically so people in a wheelchair can get inside the bank. I tried to stop him but children are fast. It was too late. What Philip didn't realize was that there was a gentleman standing in front of the door, oblivious to what was going on. The door opened and hit him. It wasn't hard and there obviously wasn't any injury but I apologized for my son nonetheless. I also made Philip apologize directly to the man. While it was very kind of the man to tell me that it was really alright, he is just a little kid, and he should have been paying to where he was standing, I disagreed. I get his point and really do appreciate the stranger's tolerance towards the incident but I didn't feel right to dismiss it either. I don't know if this lesson sunk in or what but lately, he has been considerate towards those around him. We are still working on the not pushing strange buttons, though.
Considering we both work, my son is enrolled in the morning and after school babysitting program. When my husband went to go pick him up and was waiting for him inside the school foyer, he was shocked to hear from the school principal. Apparently, my son found a Lego character on his way down to meet my husband. Instead of keeping it, he went straight to the office and insisted they hold onto it because "It belongs to another kid and it is a really cool toy. The other kid might want it and come looking for it" The school was so impressed by his empathy and commented that it is rare in a child so young, and apparently, most kids would have just taken it home instead.
|This is my secret to parenting!|
You could imagine my pride when I came home and I was informed of this. In fact, the next day, the office workers told Philip that no one came to claim the Lego and he may keep it for being so honest.
This week, the kids are off on spring break. It is very busy for me at work so my mom is helping out by watching him. He was at her house today and the weather has been pretty bad. It rained overnight and was still raining this morning. As a result, we woke up to a skating rink outside! Later this morning, my mom's neighbor across the street shoveled and salted her walkway for her. Philip went out to play and was throwing snow all over the walkway. My mom told him not to do that because the nice man across the street helped her and would be upset to see him putting the snow back where he had shoveled. Well, incidentally, the neighbor happened to come outside while Philip was out there. I am not surprised by this considering I always said my mom's street was the perfect neighborhood watch. I swear, the moment I show up, I am not even out of my car and the neighbors are either looking at me through their windows or coming out of their houses to "work on their lawns" but they are really staring at me! Obviously, Philip knows the man across the street because everyone knows everyone else on mom's street! Philip called the neighbor over and thanked the man for taking care of his grandma! The neighbor, who remembers me very well from my youth (my mom still lives in my childhood home) was so impressed that my son of all people had such wonderful manners. Let's just say, I was a pretty rambunctious kid and we didn't get a long very well. The thought of him being taken aback by the offspring of the bratty kid who used to live across the street was polite to him made me very happy. Take that, old man!
Sometimes, between the chaos, the craziness, the bad behavior and sea of doubt where we question our parenting skills, there is a glimmer of hope. I got this. I am doing something right!