Teaching Moment 101

Three days ago, my hubby and I along with our little Danielle went to buy our weekly groceries at one of the malls in this city. It would have been another ordinary weekend buying until I lined up at one of the counters to pay for our food. Just in front of me is a boy between 8-10 years old. He was holding a basket with few grocery items. I watched him took out 2 canned goods, 2 little boxes of candies, and few porkchops in a cellophane. I was silently noting that this boy must have one of his parents inside the mall and was erraned to buy a few missed items from their grocery list. He seems to be a confident kid and looks like he comes from a financially well-off family. Then the time came to pay for his items.

He took out his money from his pocket and counted P34.00. The sales clerk gently asked him if he has some more money since the all the items costed a little over P70.00 and if his mother or father is with him. He shook his head to both questions and began to take out the two canned goods- he was still short and took out more items until the total bill was just a little under P30.00. All the while this was happening, I was trying to look for my husband who was waiting for me in the hallway. I could easily pay for the little difference.  But, something stopped me. Not knowing that my husband saw the whole incident, he was about to come to me and tell me to pay for the difference. But he too had the same impression.

On our way home, my husband and I talked only about the little boy. I was telling him if I was wrong and had not acted immediately in helping the boy pay his bills. My husband remarked that while he had the strong urge to help, he had the impression to refrain from helping and allow the boy to learn from the incident. My husband told me that while we badly want to help, there are some times that “not helping” is actually helping. I was silent for some time until we reached home. I looked at my daughter and realized that like the boy, there would be painful lessons ahead of her and if I want to be a wise parent- I would allow her to go through them and yet stay in the background in case she would need my help.

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3 thoughts on “Teaching Moment 101

  1. I have gone through lots of this boy’s experience!! I was doing grocery shopping for the family since I was 8. No one was helping me but it made me wiser and I learned to “calculate” while shopping and not make a messy show at the counter.

  2. Hi–interesting post and much food for thought here!

    Another way to look at it might be that by helping the child, he can learn that there are kind people in the world.

    I think that, as you point out, there are many lessons to be learned and it depends on the choices we make.

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful post!

  3. Hi New Parent,

    Thank you for dropping by again!

    You are right- I wish I could have done what you commented- Help the child. However, at that moment I did feel that we could help the child by “not helping.” The unpaid bill was really small ( less than a dollar)… anyways, thank you for writing a comment on my post.

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