Saturday, February 02, 2008

Lose a battle to win the bigger war

When I picked Zachary up from school the other day, he happily told me that he had safely put his car away in his pocket. I was packing up his bags and bundling his jacket when I barely heard what he said. But because he looked like he had something very good to tell me, I knelt down to talk to him.

When I finally got a grip of what he said, I asked him, whether it is actually HIS car. He suddenly looked concern with the question. I knew it's the school's little car that was in the pocket because I never allow my kids to take their toys out. The most is in the car.

So I slowly talked him about giving the car back to the careladies. the principle is, it is not ours and we should not take it home, especially without asking. Zachary was genuinely sad. I think its a mixture of feeling guilty for doing something that he knew was not really right (since we have always practice not to take things that is not ours) and also feeling that it is actually okay since he will be going back to school the next day.

Zachary is usually quite an easy boy. He never wail for things that he like in the store. When we go to people's house and when I told him to put away the other kids' toys that he was playing, he would usually put it away. I guess there is always a time to protest in every child. Syukur, it gives me the opportunity to hand down some "wise" words for him.

One of the careladies said he can keep it, but again in the name of principle, I had to say no. Zachary had to give it back with HIS own hand, not me peeling it from him. He must give it back unwillingly or not.

He gave it up in the end after alot of pressure from my coaxing. He was sad and I decided to carry him to the car. (I would usually ask him to walk on his own). Praising him along the way. Telling him how proud I am of him. And it was hard thing to do and I admire him for it.

He sobbed softly in the car. He sobbed when we went to pick her sister up. And he continued sobbing until he fell to sleep on the way home

I was heartbroken of course. I am a mother afterall. Listening to his sad sobbing did make me make me feel like crying myself. really it would be much easier for me to allow him to take the car home, and quietly return it tomorrow. Or even perhaps I can ask him to return it himself . No sad faces. No heart wrenching sobs. Much easier.

But there is principle to adhere. Things that he need to learn. Things that he need to understand.

He may feel that he had just lose this battle. Only if he knows that it is to prepare him for a bigger war. A war of self discipline. And a lesson to live in a bigger society.

During my coaxing I wanted to tell him two things which I decided against. I wanted to tell him,

1.if you put the car back I will get you more cars.

I decided not to because I didn't want to reward him for putting to back just knowing that he would get a reward. I wanted him to put back the car knowing the fact that we should put back the things that are not ours in the first place.

2. That Allah does not like us taking things that is not ours.

I wanted to assert this but decided to put it in a different mode. As I whispered how proud I was that he was brave enough to return the car, I added that Allah will reward him big time. I just thought the positive note would be better rather than the punishing one.

Praying that I am doing it right.



Unknown said...

:-) sitting here reading....i feel a lump in my throat....duh!
proud of zachary....his tears told me he is a sensitive person. Not a word of protest....simply an inner reflection.
And Lollies - I may just refer to your lessons at the end of your entry - whenever I write about secrets of parenting in the i-pod age, sometimes in the future.


m.u.l.a.n said...

marsha pon baru buat hal yg sama semalam. keep telling her that she cant just take things without asking permission or anything that belongs to school etc.. she's more firm & kinda keras hati compare to zharif. yg kelakarnya marsha ni, bila tanya, memanjang i borrow only, i borrow only.. kot ada haribulan, "i want to have that..!!!".. sabor je la..

atiza said...

good on you! bila nak tambah family members?

simah said...

hard as it was for u..i think what u did deserves a standing is something precious that zachary will learn to live by which will make him grow into a moral principled man just like his mom... bravo lollies!

Lollies said...

idham - eh janganlah buat reference. malu seh. oh and you are right, zachary is the sensitive one. :D that's why i tried different aproach rather than the normal draconian one.

mulan - tulah..anak2 ni lain-lain kan.

atiza - sampai disni sajalah aku. :D

zachary- ameen. he doesn't remember it pun. tapi i think the subconcious learning will be embedded in his mind and heart, Insya Allah.

Anonymous said...

very amazing the carelady name is zachary

Lollies said...


Anonymous said...

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