A Teachable Moment
I am sure we have all had those frustrating moments in life when you stop and ask yourself if you are doing enough to teach your children.
Mine came Tuesday afternoon when I volunteered for the first time in my daughter’s kindergarten class. I was shocked at the way the children treated their teacher. Okay, let’s be honest. I was appalled!
Now I KNOW my children are not perfect, but luckily my daughter was very respectful of her teacher. I say luckily because I mean luckily for HER she was well behaved or she would have had a punishment after school. But I started thinking: Am I doing enough to teach my kids how to respect the institution of school and teachers who work hard for so little in return?
Later that day, I saw a Love Without Boundaries Facebook post stating there were children in need of sponsors to continue their education. An idea popped into my head, and I decided to present it to my family that night.
At dinner, I talked to my kids about the need to respect their elders. I asked if they knew what this meant and then had them explain to me how they could do this. We talked about teachers at school and how we should treat them. The kids told me they would work hard on being quiet, raising their hands to speak, and paying attention whenever the teacher was speaking. I talked about how there will be times the other kids in the class are not doing these things and how they need to be the example, and they agreed that they could be leaders in their classrooms.
I then went on to tell them about children in other countries who do not have the privilege of going to school each day. We discussed those children and how we could help them.
I told them there was a list of children on the LWB website who needed sponsors to help them be able to attend school. The kids were so excited to look at this list and choose one child for us to sponsor as a family.
After dinner, we pulled up the list of kids wanting to attend school but in need of a little bit of help. I quickly learned my original plan was flawed as all of my kids wanted to sponsor different children! So my husband came up with a plan. Each of our kids chose one child they wanted to sponsor, and we then gave each kid a number. To get our friends and family involved, we texted several of them and asked them to choose a number between 1 and 4, and the child who received the most “votes” was the one we would sponsor.
While the votes were coming in, my oldest son decided he really wanted to campaign to sponsor Connor, a student at Believe In Me Sokhem School in Cambodia, and came up with his own plan. He got out a bag of candy he had been hiding and started to “buy” his sister’s and brothers’ votes. This kid’s smart plan worked like a charm. Within seconds, all four kids were happy to report that they wanted to sponsor Connor. It was unanimous!
The very next day we received a thank you for sponsoring Connor. It came with a report on how Connor was doing in school, which was so fun to read. My kids were surprised to learn that before coming to the Believe In Me school, many kids had never read a book at home. My kids immediately asked if we could donate some of our books to the children in Cambodia so they could read at home.
We then talked about the nutrition program at the Believe In Me school. I showed them photos of students with blond hair and taught them that dark hair can sometimes turn blonde due to lack of good nutrition (it’s called “Kwashiorkor Malnutrition”). Noah, another student at Believe In Me Sokhem, has had this issue as you can see in this photo.
It was just after 11 am when we were talking, and I asked my kids how many times they had already eaten since they got up. They reported that they had had breakfast and two snacks. I explained that several of these children only get one meal a day. They were shocked! I told them that the money we sent to sponsor Connor would be used to help him get lunch every day. Our kids were so happy to hear this.
We printed off our sponsor certificate and decided to hang it on the door leading out of our home. We felt this would be a great reminder each day of all that we had to be thankful for and how we should treat our teachers at school. But most importantly, we would think of Connor and pray that this little boy would get the education he and every other child in the world deserves.
My family is so grateful to Love Without Boundaries for helping children like Connor around the world.
~Brittani Lots is LWB’s Unity Initiative Assistant Coordinator and Fuyang Foster Care Assistant Coordinator.