My children have been taught many things that I am proud of so far. However, I have learned that there is at least one area in which I have done them a great disservice. Let me set up this explanation.
This issue first came to my attention when I was looking for a marker in a box full of markers that my children use for various homework assignments or crafts. Annoyed by the number of markers without the caps, I called one of my girls into the room to ask why I found the box that way. In the most nonchalant voice she answered, “I don’t know but we can just go get another box.”
What?!? Was she serious? Yes! She was very serious and believed that she was justified in her answer. They were only markers; inexpensive markers. If they dried up, we could pick up another box the next time we were at the store. Dried up markers do not seem like something I should get upset over and I didn’t. I was upset over the careless attitude that I have allowed my children to have by apparently displaying that same attitude myself. Because I am overly aware of the precious and limited time that our children are actually children, I often overlook petty things like this. I do so because the markers really aren’t important and I would rather let them be children than to spend my time scolding them for every innocent move they make. HOWEVER, it appears I have done this to the wrong extreme if this is the attitude that my child has towards her belongings.
There is a medium here and I have failed to reach it. While I don’t believe in making a production over an innocent mistake or putting importance on material things, I do think that it should be pointed out a child why he or she should take care of their things. They need to learn to appreciate everything they have even if it is as insignificant as a marker. If they appreciate their things, they should be showing it by the care they demonstrate. In this case, she should have made a point to put the lids on the markers before putting them in the box. The fact that she failed to see the reason behind it is where I have failed her. So what can I take from this? While I still feel it is OK to let my kids be kids, I also need to make sure they get the basic fundamentals that are necessary for them to live a life that will be pleasing to God. Would God actually care about the dried up marker and want me to “just get another one”? I don’t think so. I think He would want me to use this opportunity to teach my children the value of things and that they should appreciate what they have. Message received!