All children need to know their place in the world and to trust the people in it.
I have nine grandchildren. I am as surprised as anyone could be. One of my nine is a grandchild by marriage. I love him as much as any of the others and I quite fell in love with him when he entered our family at five. He was distrustful and a drama queen. He was nervous around people and unsure how to act in different social situations. I decided that had to change.
I have watched him a lot as time passed. I could see his strengths and weaknesses.We had some really great days together and some that left me feeling like I needed a week in bed. What he had was a good loving heart and a huge amount of kindness for someone so young.
What he lacked was self-confidence, trust and an understanding of why things happened and how to do the things he wanted to do. He could be an angel or the most tiring experience I have ever had.
I was determined that he would find his balance in life and his security. We were talking one day and I said I would do something. He looked at me with disgust and said with pure attitude, “No you won’t.” I looked at him and decided I needed to gamble on this child. I said sure I would and he asked if I would promise. I agreed to a promise and he asked for a pinky promise. We made a solemn pinky promise and I kept my promise.
The next promise was easier. Our talks about how to handle situations grew longer and less adversarial. Not only have we formed a strong bond. Pinky promises are the utmost sacred pact. He will even ask me if something someone else has told him is true and if I answer in the affirmative, he asks for a pinky promise.
So slowly but surely, he is finding out who he is and where he fits into this world. He is learning what he likes and doesn’t like. His talents are coming out like popcorn and he makes me laugh like I have never laughed.
Now, I am not sharing this story because of anything I did. I am sharing it to make the point that often we make promises without thinking about them. Promises to children, parents, friends, co-workers. Sometimes we don’t call it a promise, we agree on something. The other person is counting on us.
If we make a promise, we need to keep it and we should not make promises without thinking them through..No matter who we give our word to, it is important to keep it. It needs to be part of our character to keep our word. People notice that about others and know which people they can trust. That is an important thing in this twenty first century we live in.
Security helps children feel free