From the desk of Teresa Jordan, Executive Director – Parenting “learning moment number 143” for this month alone – you cannot will things to happen.
My son was chatting to me as I was leaving Haliburton the other day and mentioned that his English class was having an exam potluck breakfast. First off, is that not just about the coolest thing you have ever heard of? Secondly, I asked him what he was bringing; he said that all the good stuff was signed up for already so he would probably bring nothing.
Problem-solving-hero-mom leapt into action and stopped at Fenelon to purchase watermelon, granola and some little macaroon things. Proudly, I showed my son the bounty and he replied that all that stuff was already being brought to the breakfast. I sat him down and told him the timeless truth passed on by mothers since time immemorial, “You cannot go to a potluck empty handed.”
In the morning, I checked again and asked my son what he was taking to the breakfast. He quietly indicated the granola and put it in his backpack. End of day, I first asked how his exam went and, second, how did your granola go over? “I forgot to bring it out of my bag” was the answer.
You see, the learning here is that you cannot, by the sheer force of an interac card, a last minute shopping trip and timeless lessons of mealtime ritual, force another human being to do something that they are not willing to do. This story is a great reminder that all we do is model, teach, guide and create experiences. The leap to actually pass around the granola is entirely out of our hands.