My oldest daughter approached me with a question about cheating as we were waiting for her school's gate to open, which set me off to a bit of reflection today. As I answered her, I started thinking about all the other occasions that something like this has come up during the school year, usually during the daily trip to and from class, and I began to realize how the moments add up over time.
My husband and I made the decision at the start of school it was more important for us to take her to school ourselves, rather than having her on a bus. This is made possible by the fact (thanks to the devotion of my husband) that I get to be a stay-at-home mommy. Although the daily effort has its challenges, this morning I realized just how much gets imparted during those 15 minutes of walking from the car to the school.
Since August, she and I have had discussions on a range of topics in relation to her daily life at school. For example, there were the two weeks spent emphasizing the value of working to meet a goal as she practiced running for a school "Fun Run," and then not giving up and quitting during the event itself. Another day, it was the foundation of truth and trust in a relationship, after she was busted for lying. There was the week we focused on the importance of standing up for others when we caught and stopped a friend of hers from being bullied. And the list goes on…. The need for treating others with respect after she was rude to her teacher, for which she had to apologize. Why stealing is wrong, after someone took a flower off her backpack. Being aware of how her actions affect others. The importance of family working together as a team when she helped me teach her sister to look out for cars. Finally, the day she tried to hide a potty accident, leading to a discussion about the strength of a family to pull together to help each other, and she could always come and talk to us when she needed us.
Aside from the fact I realized she gets lectured a lot, it dawned on me it's these little 15 minute moments that give me the opportunity to influence the shaping of her character and those of her sisters as they grow. I am so grateful to my husband for the gift of these moments, as it is his sacrifice at work which makes this time possible! Thanks for all that you do to spread the word about how important this time can be for kids!