We were headed out somewhere and we were ready to go, but Nolan was lagging behind, he has a habit of doing that. I watched him go up to his sneakers that were fully tied, and he jammed his feet into them.He spent two minutes wiggling his feet until he forced them in. I was stunned. I shouted, "Nolan ! Didn't anyone ever teach you how to put your shoes on? Stop being so lazy, and untie them when you take them off." With a glance at my wife, I could tell that she was more perturbed at me than our 11 year old who couldn't put his shoes on correctly, but she at least let me have my say, and we headed off to parts unknown. Over the next several weeks, I corrected Nolan as I watched him take his shoes on and off, but still my wife remained silent on the issue.
|Note the crushed heels|
It was a few weeks later while attending my sister Meter Maid's Pig Roast (See - A Swine Time ), my wife made her move. We had passed a large pile of shoes by my sister's doorway, that was made by the dozen or so urchins camped out in various rooms in her house.
I did think about it all, and was going to tie this into how kids aren't respectful of the things that we provide for them, and I think it's true that a majority of them aren't, well at least to the degree we were when we were growing up. It may even start with the shoes. Again, taking good care of the small things that are provided for you, may lead to taking better care of the bigger things that are provided for you (If my friend Tor wrote this, he would be sure to relate this to the Parable of the Talents, you can check his blog out daily at
http://torconsblog.blogspot.com/ ) Does this lead to kids losing or mistreating larger items, like cell phones and cars? I can't say, but I found another difference in the two scenarios. If you scroll to the top of this page, you'll see that my first pair of shoes came from a small, local business selling quality merchandise and I treated them well. My son Nolan's first pair likely came from Walmart, and I doubt there was any quality or craftsmanship involved in their cobbling and he treated them less well. So there were two lessons to be learned from my view. The first is that, yes, kids should be taught to respect the sacrifices that parents make to provide for them, it's just the right thing to do. The second, however, might be even more important, and it is, if you expect to have your kids respect things like you were taught, then you have to work a little harder and find good quality merchandise, maybe from small family owned businesses, for them to treat well, and yes, it can start with the shoes.