I was in my daughter’s room and I noticed a lot of toys on the floor. I asked her what was going on and if she could clean up. And she replied, “Oh Daddy, I have too many toys I can’t clean them all up.” I laughed and said, “Ok maybe we need to get rid of some toys. What do you think?” And to my surprise she said, “Ok, can we put the toys I don’t want in a box and give them to the poor people?” I was really taken aback. I was actually thinking the same thing so for her to come to the conclusion without my help was really refreshing.
In a time when the haves and have nots are becoming more divided I was very thankful for having more than we need and having my child recognize this warmed my heart. But how did she come to this come to this realization? Well by example, it’s truly the only way to teach a child. I have been pairing down and when she asked me what I was doing I told her I was gathering things we don’t need and giving them to people that don’t have as much. By explaining to her in very simple terms a complex subject I was able to make an impression on her that I hope continues through her life.
In any case, she was more than happy to get rid of things. She said, “We don’t play with most of this and some things are broken.” So we grabbed the trash can too and filled it up as well. The room was clean in about 30 minutes and she felt really good about helping. When we were done she excitingly said, “Can we go give these to the poor people now?” I said, “Yes” and we were on our way to the second hand store.
After dropping off the stuff I said, “Let’s go inside and look around.” So we went to the winter coat section and found two very cute jackets for cheap and I bought them. The second lesson here is saving some money and the third lesson is reusing material rather than buying something new. This lowers our carbon footprint. It was a good day for us and many lessons were learned. I know that the biggest difference I can make is teaching my kids by being a good example. And who knows maybe they will surprise me and teach me something along the way.