My Word Is My Bond…teaching grandkids this principle.
I can’t even count the number of times I heard my children say, “Do you promise?” They knew if I said I promise, then it would happen. I learned early on as a parent the importance of keeping my promises to my children. Now that I am a grandma I want more than ever for my grandchildren to be able to trust my word. If I say I am going to do something, you better believe I will do everything in my power to make sure I do it.
There were of course plenty of times when my children wanted me to promise them but I knew I couldn’t. I would say to them, “I will try my hardest but I can’t promise you.” I feel like this approach helped my children learn that being disappointed was part of life but when mom makes a promise, she keeps it.
I have always felt like the greatest teaching tool we have in life is our example of how we live our life. If we are saying one thing and doing another, it becomes very hard for those we love to trust us and take what we say at face value. Children love to watch what we do and say and unfortunately they have a much better memory than we do.
I came across a story about an incredible young man named Alex Sheen, who kept a promise to his father which started a movement that has spread across the world. Here is his story:
“My father was an average man. He was no war hero. He never wrote a book. He never ran marathons. He was a pharmacist. No recognition. No fame. But for everything that made my father “average” and “everyday,” there was one thing he did exceptionally well. He kept his promises. My father was a man of his word.
On the morning of September 4th, 2012, my father died of small cell lung cancer. I was asked by my family to give my father’s eulogy. In those final resting words, I chose to speak about my father and how he treated his promises. Too often we say things like “I’ll get to it” and “tomorrow.” One day there is no tomorrow. The promises we make and keep and those we choose to dishonor define us and this world.
I would title this speech because I said I would. On that day, I handed out for the first time what I would call “Promise Cards” to help remind people of the importance of our commitments. Simply write a promise on the card and use it as a symbol of your honor. I offered to send 10 Promise Cards to anyone anywhere in the world at no cost to them. This would set off a chain of events to the scope of which I may never understand.”
I love this story! If you would like more information about this, go to his website www.becauseisaidiwould.org.
Teaching our grandchildren the importance of keeping a promise is just one of the many values that we can pass down to them. Sometimes we forget that we are still responsible for teaching the next generation even though they aren’t living in our home.