#366 Teach a child to be responsible

21 Jul

responsible: (adj) having a capacity for moral decisions and therefore accountable; capable of rational thought or action. 

There were seven definitions for the word responsible. I think the one I chose best fits my deed. This deed was not planned, rather it was accidental…maybe even fate! Right next door to my new complex is a gas station. In the midst of all my planning for the impending school year I got hungry for a snack. I decided to walk to the gas station. As I was walking, I passed a group of 4 boys- roughly 7-9 years old. They were arguing over who got what color jolly rancher when all of a sudden one of them said, “Fuck you!”. BAM!!! I whipped into teacher mode and turned around and said, “you boys better watch your language, that’s not appropriate language.” (similiar to what I tell my kids, “language!”, when they cuss or say something inappropriate during class). The boys immediately apologized; then asked me to buy them candy, ahh the hearts of young children. I was instantly reminded of my kids who would beg me to bring them candy (always did!)

I asked them what they wanted and they replied Jolly ranchers- two bags. I told them okay and that I would be right out. Before walking into the store, I turned back around and asked the boys what words they were missing (yet another teacher-esque moment) to which they instantly shouted, “PLEASE! THANK YOU!” I smiled and went inside. Picked up my chips and pretzels, grabbed their candy bags (does anyone else feel that $2.50 is a lot for a bag of jolly ranchers, like really?!), and proceeded to the check-out aisle- where I saw the boys sitting eagerly outside waiting for me.

Before handing the candy over, I asked them who swore: the boys pointed to the culprit, but not before he sheepishly raised his hand himself- with his head hung low. I reminded them that it’s not appropriate to talk like that and to be more aware of what they say. The boys nodded in agreement and thanked me again for buying them the candy (now each boy had a bag). I told them they were welcome and that they better stay out of trouble.

So, how did I teach them to be responsible? Hopefully they think more before they talk…there comes the capable of rational thought aspect of my definition! Was this a life-changing moment in their lives? Doubtful, but hopefully! Even if I didn’t teach a child to be responsible, this could still count as a good deed in that I bought candy for kids who probably never thought I would…

“Miss, you got a dollar I can have so I can get some candy?”

-one of the brave kids today.

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One Response to “#366 Teach a child to be responsible”

  1. carinnnnenenen July 21, 2010 at 3:57 pm #

    Stating what “responsible” means to you got me thinking. I remember being young and hearing adults say about various people, “She’s so responsible.” To me that meant being able to babysit without allowing the house to burn down. Thinking on how I feel about responsibility now, it’s interesting how it has changed throughout the years. I agree with you – it’s accountability. I know quite a few people age 30+ without any responsibility. Kids in sixth grade take more accountability for missing homework than some adults do.

    That was really bold of them to stand up and ask you for candy. And good grief, that’s potential inflation on jolly ranchers. And now I want one too!

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