Wednesday 18 August 2021

Promises we make to our kids

My littlest went to school and told his friends that his mama is a cheater!

The label I had to bear for not bringing him to the beach as promised. Fatigue must have gotten in the way when I casually brushed it aside and said, "let's go another day." While I was upset that he 'shamed' me in school, I got shook up to be reminded that kids take promises very seriously. In words and in plans, promises are substantial to them. Even though it seems trivial to us at times.

That very week, I put procrastination to a halt, hurriedly flowed the promises into the weekend. We did the beach and had his favourite prata for breakfast the next day. Procrastination, saying 'later' and intentionally forgetting are often our convenient excuses. It may seem acceptable in the short run, but spells trouble and distrust in the long run. 


 Best day ever!


Keeping promises help us, parents gain respect, teaches our children to trust us, makes them feel heard and important. In the many years of our parenting journey, there were umpteen times we tell our child, "you promised mama that.... ", but in midst, we neglected that promises are both ways. 

The comfort is that we aren't always able to avoid breaking promises, and I confess, I am a repeated offender. Along the years, I have learnt not to make promises out of their tantrums, not to make promises out of my convenience and of course, never promise under the influence of their ridiculous threats. If promises don't happen due to genuine reasons, don't guilt trip, it just means the opportunity for us to explain why. 

There's a reason why children forgive and forget easily. Having said that, I do believe they retain selected memories.

In this fast pacing world, we are so often submerged by work, and sometimes fatigue and laziness, while weekend is highly precious to us for recuperating, it is also only the child's opportunity to have more time with the family. Simple promises aren't usually tough to keep to, the tough is finding time to do so. Simple as promises may be, they bring much joy and love to the child when we keep to our words. 

Promises are the foundation of a relationship. 

As I write, I got reminded that I owe the big boy a promise. One that I blurted out too casually and confidently in thoughts that he will not achieve a certain target, but he did! And I have to now follow through the promise, or perhaps find a way to negotiate it out.

But first, let me correct the littlest that it's not all right to shame his Mama before his friends.

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