We spent a few minutes laughing with our son’s pre-school teacher the other day.
It helps that you’re friends with your children’s teachers. They spend at least two hours a day with your child when you’re at the office working. In that short time, they help mold your children into responsible, caring people.
My second son does NOT take care of his personal belongings, very much unlike his obsessive-compulsive kuya. He is always misplacing his school stuff. If it was not attached to him, he has most likely left it somewhere.
One day, his teacher asked, “Where is your pencil?”
“I don’t know,” he said.
“You should take care of your things,” she continued, “How will you do your seatwork without a pencil?”
“My daddy said… (drumroll please)… People are more important than things.”
Teacher laughed at this. I had to laugh too, but I tried to remember how this lesson came about.
He sees no need to take care of his things because his dad said so. Did I inadvertently teach him to forsake all material possessions at all times?
My memory flashed back to that instance when I explained to him this nugget. It was in the middle of a petty argument with his brother that got very physical. There were hitting and punching and crying and hurting each other so bad, I had to intervene.
As I pulled them apart, I brought him to a corner and said, “You should love your brother, not hurt him. People are more important than any thing in this world. You can lose your toys, your books, your most precious possessions… But you must never lose your brother’s love.”
He nodded his understanding, said sorry, and made his peace with kuya.
They still fight, but when reminded to ask themselves which is more important – the toy or the brother – they know the right answer. The fighting is easier to stop these days.
However, I did not foresee that he would consider ALL things unimportant. That he would think it is acceptable to NOT care for his personal belongings.
We told teacher that she should say, “Your parents work very hard to provide for the things you use in school everyday. If it was not for them, you would have nothing. If you love your parents, you should care for the things they give you.”
Let’s see if we can turn this little boy a little more responsible kid over the next few weeks.