Most of us parents deal with our kids in the present. We sometimes forget about the future. We solve current problems yet we tend to disregard the impact an action will have on our kid’s character.
One of our goals as parents is to keep an eye on our kid’s future. We should want to raise our children into responsible adults.
One time, we had to buy a gift for Kyle’s classmate. While we were shopping, he was asking me for a new toy. I told him he can’t have one because he’s being punished for a recent misbehavior. So amused with so many toys in the toy store, he didn’t really mind me anymore. We left the store without him crying over the toys there.
Before sleeping, I reminded him about the gift for his classmate. We’re going to bring it to her birthday party tomorrow. He talked back and our conversation went on like this:
Kyle: “I also want toy. I want new toy.”
Me: “But that’s for your classmate. It’s her birthday present.”
Kyle: “But I want a new toy.”
Me: “Remember what I told you, you cannot have a new toy until after one month.”
Kyle: “I want new toy. A red toy.”
Me: “Yes, you can have your red toy after a month because we used our money to have dad’s phone fixed.
His response was an unrelenting “I want a red toy.”
There I realized, I probably need to let him understand again why he can’t have that red toy now. So, I was trying to figure out how I can make a 2 and a half-year-old child understand that he can have it after a month. I was insisting that he needs to deal with his punishment, but then I realized I should just make him realize that life isn’t easy. If you want something you naturally want to get it instantly. But life doesn’t work that way. You must work hard for what you want.
We, parents, should be the first person to teach them the value of money and let them understand how life goes: we can’t have all that we want.
So, with this super quick thought, I changed my approach and said,
“Baby do you want to know why you can’t have your red toy now? It’s because we don’t have that much money. The money that daddy had was used to fix the phone that you broke the other day. Remember daddy’s broken phone?”
He nodded his head while sucking his bottle of milk. I knew he was trying to digest what I was explaining.
I need to let him know that his dad was happy because Kyle’s been worried sick after the incident. He never stopped asking questions like “Are you mad?” “You’re not happy?”
“So, daddy’s phone is okay now. Daddy’s happy. But the money we have was used to fix daddy’s phone. Now daddy needs to work hard again so we can have money to buy Kyle’s toy. That’s why you need to wait a month before we buy your new toy. Is that okay with you?”
And as usual, I was amazed when he nodded and said “U-um.”
Then I thanked him for understanding the situation and acknowledging him for being a sweet and good boy.
Our topic ended just like that. And I felt so good.
We just really need to be patient when we explain things to them. And like I always share to my friends, never stop by saying “NO”, always explain why you’re saying no.
Never underestimate their age, thinking they may not understand yet or they are just babies or too young to understand. Just try and you’ll be amazed.
When we explain things to our kids, we are contributing to their character development. A person’s character plays a crucial role in shaping his life. Whether he will have good relationships or an amazing career depend on his character.
These days we often hear about character types: introvert, extrovert, ambivert, hypersensitive, and so on. We found ways to explain our behavior, but I think they really are just excuses for why a man isn’t treating his wife right or why a wife can’t find happiness even with a supportive husband.
I believe that our problems are a result of our own character weaknesses. And I want to be able to help Kyle, starting at a young age, how to have a kind heart and a strong character. That’s why I’m never just saying “No.” I’ll always try to have the patience to explain “Why NO.”
Mommas, if you have situations like this that you would like to share, I’d love to hear them. Feel free to send me a message or leave your comments here.