Photo Credit: Mykl Roventine
I am impressed, to say the least, the principal actually took time to organize such an event â€“ out of her busy schedule.
A week ago, my wife, J, and I attended a special Motherâ€™s Day function at Kâ€™s kindergarten.
I thought the response would be lukewarm as it fell on a week day. But to my surprise, almost all parents came and joined in the fun, except parents of 3 kids.
The celebration was a good avenue for parents to get to know each other and compare notes. Children love to have their parents around in school because for once, they can be bosses to moms and dads by showing them around the place.
The celebration was full of activities: singing, telematch games, cooking, art and craft… and how could we forget: food!
Putting on Lipstick
In one of the games, the children were asked to be make-up artists. Each child had to put on lipstick for their own mommy. The winners would be judged by how perfectly it was done.
Unfortunately, many turned out to be reluctant clowns.
One of the fathers who went to the function was asked to be the judge: to pick 5 winners â€“ mommies who had perfectly-done lipstick by their child.
Without slightest of shame, he wanted to pick his wife as the first winner. His wife felt the same too, waving frantically signaling her husband to choose her.
But the principal politely â€œignoredâ€ his picking. Furthermore, the mommy was not the one having the perfect lipstick.
Since the selection process was having a bit of hiccup, I was asked too to be another judge. For an amateur like me, it was quite hard to separate the winners from the losers. For funâ€™s sake, I chose two mothers with the best looking lipstick â€“ based on my evaluation. And no, my wife was not one of them because K did not do a good job.
Lesson of the Day
Now back to the point I am trying to get across.
In hindsight and after having a short discussion later with my wife on the couple (husband wanted to choose wife as winner even though she was not qualified), there is an important lesson for us parents to learn.
But first, donâ€™t get me wrong, I have no intention whatsoever to single out on the parents. They might be doing it unknowingly or subconsciously.
No hard feelings. I just want use this couple to illustrate my point that we often overlook the impact of parents on the children. I am no angel myself. I am guilty of this sometimes. This story serves a great reminder to me too.
Well, like it or not, parents are role models to their children.
Whatever we do, good or bad, are being observed and mimicked by them. Once they internalized it, it will become part of them.
As for the parents, out of the lipstick event, the message that they were sending to their child is:
You can do just anything to win a prize. It doesnâ€™t matter whether what you do is ethical or beyond the rules of the contest. What is more important is the winning part of it. Nothing else.
You may think I am being too paranoid and ask, â€œIs it that serious?â€
Take a step back and think deeper about this incident (it might look innocent from the surface) and put yourself in the shoes of the child. All he could see was mom and dad were trying real hard to win the contest even though the lipstick I put on was not as good as other moms. I guess that should be the way to win. And it is okay for my dad (the judge) to pick my mom as the winner.
Maybe this is not a good example to explain my point, but you get what I mean.
Hereâ€™s What We Should Do
As I said, parents are being watched by children.
Before we do or say anything, stop and think for a while, out of what we are about to do or say, what is the ultimate message that we are sending to our children. Is the message aligned with the values that we want to teach them?
If the answer is â€œno,â€ donâ€™t bother doing it. Otherwise, if it is â€œyes,â€ proceed.
It is not common for parents to do this â€œstop and thinkâ€ stuff, but I guess it is essential if we want to be good role models to our children and we care about imparting good values and characters to them.
After all, action speaks louder than words.