The birthday celebration policy at my kindergartener's new school states that because so many children have food allergies, children are not allowed to send in treats to celebrate their birthdays. If parents would like to, they can send in a party favor bag for each student in the class, or they can donate a book to the class library. I had already started thinking about what we could do, but something happened that made me decide I am definitely NOT sending home party favor bags. What was it? Well my son came home with one such bag earlier this week. The stickers went up to his room to languish in a pile of arts and crafts supplies. The bouncy ball was fought over with his brother for 20 minutes before being bounced into the"Ok, no problem," I thought. "I'll get a book for the classroom. I wonder what would be a good book. I wonder what books they have already. I wonder if they would only want a hardback book..." It was then that I realized I was missing the opportunity to teach my son something about giving. Of course we are going to give him presents on his birthday, but on our budget the only classroom gifts we could give would either be a) plastic junk that nobody needs and will be broken or lost in five seconds, or b) classroom supplies that would probably be used but are in no way needed at this already well supplied school. That’s when I had my 'ah ha' moment.
chaos that is our basement playroom and lost. And I reasoned, "I really don't need to
do that to anyone else..."
Why don't we give something to someone who actually needs it?!? I could let my son choose the gift. It will be purchased in honor of his birthday and he can tell his classmates about it. It will actually matter! And it helps reinforce a truth I want my children to know: they live lives of privilege, and with that privilege comes responsibility. The ability to give to others is a gift, in and of itself, and one that had best be used before selfishness and discontentment take root.
Until next time! MaryAnn
Do you have a story about an everyday moment you turned into a teachable moment?