Our words become theirs and our actions become their path.
One afternoon as I watch Monica play at the playground, I noticed a boy who was extra rowdy and noisy. I told myself, maybe he just has more energy to spare. One of the games they played was tug of war using the old jump rope I gave to another kid. This boy was so excited that he went all out causing the rope to break and the kid on the other side to fall hard on the ground. I thought the boy would at least feel sorry for what happened but he just left as if nothing happened.
I intervened and called the boy. I asked him “so the rope broke and your playmate got hurt. What will you do, are you not supposed to say something? He then said, “WHAT? I CAN BUY HER A NEW ROPE. I HAVE A LOT OF MONEY. DOES SHE WANT A NEW ROPE? I CAN BUY HER MORE,” I was stunned and a few seconds later, I felt my blood skyrocket and answered back: “We don’t need your money, we need you to say sorry because she got hurt. Do you think money is the answer?” I know, as an adult, I should have not reacted that way, it’s just that, I was so surprised to hear a 7-yo boy casually utter those words.
After I helped the other kid get up, I talked to the boy again and explained that he should apologize if he hurt somebody, intentionally or not. And having so much money won’t resolve the problem so he must refrain from using it as an excuse. He then said sorry and they continued to play. Kids are alright again.
I am not sure how he learned to answer like that – was it from the shows he watches, the games he plays, the primary caretakers, at home, in school? I don’t know and I am not in the position to judge. One thing is certain though, he acquired it.
And this is why, as parents and as primary caretakers, we are responsible and it’s our duty to be a good example to our kids. I admit, I easily make face, rant, etc whenever I get stressed. And you know what, I catch Monica doing the same, with matching roll eyes even. I always say “Oh my gosh” “haaaay nakuuu” and I hear her say as much. Can I blame her? Can I call her out for merely copying what I do? No. So the change must come from me and from there she’ll (hopefully) follow.
I remember in one of the teacher-parents meeting in her preschool, the Directress said “We know how the parents talk at home whenever we listen to your kids. We have an idea how it is at home with the way your kids interact in school. Your words are their words so be careful what you say and show your child.” And as Monica grows up, I cannot agree enough. Our role is very crucial in raising children; if we want them to be responsible and good adults, we have to be one first.