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A Teachable Moment

December 19, 2011

I am  sharing this story because it was a small, but significant stepping stone in my “growing” as a mom.  And I don’t want to forget it.   Here is what happened : Ryan was outside.  He threw a stick, which broke one of the neighbors Christmas lights.  The first words out of my mouth were ” Ryan!  They are going to be so mad!”.  Ryan jet-packed it into the house and I was left outside to contemplate how to handle the situation.   My first reaction was to just go inside and pretend nothing happened.  Our neighbors were at work  and they would never know what happened – if they even noticed at all.  Once that thought sunk in, I realized that by letting this little thing slide – it would teach my little 4-year-old a big lesson: If you don’t get caught it doesn’t matter what you do.

I realized that if I wanted to teach my boy to be honest and have a good, stong character, I needed to set that example for him.  I went inside and found Ryan laying face down on the couch – I am sure traumatized by my announcing how mad the neighbors were going to be.  I picked him up, and help him in my arms.  When I asked him how he was feeling, the first thing he said was, ” I am afraid that Jesus is going to be mad at me.”

My eyes welled up with tears.  I was so amazed at his tender heart.   We talked about repentance and how it worked.  We talked about making mistakes and how we all make them. We talked about how we need to be responsible for our mistakes and say sorry when we do something – to the people we do something to – and Heavenly Father.  I told him that we would go over to the neighbor’s house, knock on the door and Ryan would have to tell them sorry for breaking their light and he would have to help Dad put up new lights if they needed to be put up.  As those words were coming out of my mouth, I had a put in my own stomach… what if they were made… and they would be mad at me for not watching my kid.  But I said it so we had to do it.   Once we saw their cars in the drive way, we marched over there, knocked on the door and Ryan did it.  He said sorry.  We were both relieved once that was over!

That broken light really helped me see what a power we have as mothers.  We are shaping our children’s characters.  That is a big job!  We must always be aware of those little moments, which can have a big impact on our kids lives. I know I will never forget that moment… and I hope Ryan never does either.

This is how Ryan felt about the whole ordeal…

One Comment leave one →
  1. Maria permalink
    December 20, 2011 4:03 am

    Love this story! It’s amazing how much they learn from us in these early years…so important to be the good example.

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