Many years ago, I was given a piece of advice from my father. It is one of many bits of wisdom that my father imparted upon me throughout the years. This particular piece of advice, for me, has been a guiding tool in my life and one which I passed on to my son. It is also one I feel compelled to share with you. This has a been weighing heavily on my mind due an incident that recently took place on my bus.
A fifth grade girl boarded my bus this afternoon with an audible sigh and a sad look upon her face. This was not typical for this child, so I asked her what the sad face was for. Her response was, “My mom broke another one of her promises to me.”
“Really? What happened?” I replied.
“She promised me she would come to my choir concert and she never showed up.” She said.
“Well, maybe something happened and she just couldn’t make it. Did you tell her how important it was to you that she be there?” I asked her.
“Yes, I told her.” was her reply, with tears streaming down her face.
“Well, when you go home, talk to her about it. Maybe share with her how it made you feel.” was my response.
I asked if I could give her a hug. She accepted my offer and went back to her seat. She returned to her normal jovial self, once the remaining students boarded and we left the school property.
I have had my current route for seven years. I have had most of my children for four years, as well as many of their siblings before them. I am very protective of my kids and when they are hurting or sad, it affects me. Particularly when there is very little I can do or say to ease their sadness, pain, or concerns.
Here is the piece of advice that was offered to me, many years ago…
“Always try to follow through on what you say you are going to do, whether it’s good or bad.”
It is my belief that when you do this, your child/children will always know that you mean business and will trust what you say. They will know that if you say you are going to do something, or not do something, that they can rely on that happening. I have used this ideology in my personal life as well as my professional life and it has served me well. I am not saying that I have not dropped the ball, nor am I saying I have never fallen short of this goal, but I continue to strive to make it happen. I know there are times and circumstances that arise, which will sometimes make it impossible for us to follow through on what we say we are going to do. I just try make those instances the exception and not the norm in my life.
What is the best piece of advice you have ever received? Your thoughts and comments are always appreciated.
On a lighter note, a colleague shared this delightful story with me…
One of his second grade girls got on the bus and informed him that everything she was wearing was new. She paused for a moment, then added…well, except for one thing—my body, my body is not new. 🙂