Teacher's view: Promises are for keepsAs parent or caregiver of a young child, there is an unending list of chores and activities that need to get done.
By: Deb Archer, for the News-Chronicle
As parent or caregiver of a young child, there is an unending list of chores and activities that need to get done. There’s laundry, cleaning, grocery shopping, preparing meals, paying bills, and so on. It is easy to get caught up in these tasks and forget to spend time enjoying our kids.
When my girls were little, they would often ask me to do things with them. Being a busy mom, I would tell them that I would play or read them a book later. There were many times I would say I’d do something after I folded the clothes or finished the dishes. “I promise,” I’d say. Unfortunately, when the task was completed I had forgotten what I’d promised to do. At bedtime the girls would bring up my broken promise and I would feel terrible.
Grandma came to visit often when the girls were little. The girls would ask her to do the same types of things they were asking of me. They would ask to play a game, read a book or play with some toys. Grandma often had the same response I did: “ I’ll play after I finish doing the dishes.”
The difference between Grandma and me, however, was that she would finish the dishes, search out the child to whom she had made the promise and ask if she was ready to do whatever had been requested.
It is important for our kids to know that if we say we will do something, we will do it. There is no task too great that it can’t be delayed a few minutes so we can fulfill our promises to our kids. These requests seem insignificant at the time, yet if we do not follow through with them, our kids will learn quickly that we are making empty promises.
About seven years ago, we were discussing birthdays at dinner. My husband said: “When you are 16, we will rent a limo for you and your friends.” I think he said it once, but the girls never forgot. So in our attempt at keeping our promises to our kids, a few weeks ago my oldest turned 16 and we rented a limo. Promises are for keeps!
Deb Archer is a licensed teacher and parent educator and owner of Kickstart Preschool