A few days ago in school Nate's geography activity was to work with a compass. We drew a compass rose on the driveway with chalk. I stood him facing north and gave him note cards with each direction written on them. Then he had to find each direction on his own.
Just a couple days later we had a teaching moment that involved Nate's moral compass. We were getting ready to have lunch at Costco and Nate was "SO thirsty". He went up to the food counter on his own (with permission) and got a water cup. As he approached the soda machine he asked me if he could get Sprite. I said "no, get water". I was busy with Christine and did not watch him closely while he got his drink and I assumed he had gotten water.
A few minutes later while we were eating I decided to explain the situation a bit more clearly. I explained to him that the reason why I told him to get water was because the water is free and the soda costs money. If we get a free water cup and fill it with soda we are stealing. He gets this serious look on his face. He said: "How did you know I got Sprite?". Well, I didn't know that. So, I took his now empty cup away and told him that because he disobeyed and got Sprite when I had specifically told him not to that he would not be able to partake in the dessert that had already been purchased. I knew Nate felt bad and I didn't want to drag out a huge lecture so I planned to just leave it at that.
My friend and I went about the rest of our meal, chatting and such. Nate seemed very downtrodden. I asked him what he was upset about (frankly we had talked about a couple of things during the course of the last few minutes and honestly thought he might be upset about something altogether different). Nate was practically hiding his head in the crook of his arm. He said he was upset because he stole. I asked if he wanted to make it right and he said yes. So, we counted out the change necessary to pay for a drink. I explained what he needed to do and he said he was ready.
So, my seven year old stood in line patiently. When it was his turn he told the gentleman at the counter that he had gotten soda with his water cup and he wanted to pay for it. The man was very business-like about it. My friend and I both applauded Nate for doing the right thing. He still felt the gravity of the situation but he soon returned to his usual rambunctious self.
I am thankful for the opportunity to teach Nate a valuable lesson. He is growing into such a special young man! Love that kid!
Proverbs 22:6 - Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.