Many of us are pretty casual about making promises. We make promises almost every day like “I will call you”, “I will drop by in the afternoon”, ‘I will help you with your work”, “I will play basketball with you over the weekend”, “I will make something special if you behave nicely”, “We will go together for a movie”, “I will send you the pictures/article/email ”, etc. etc.. Such causal promises are made very frequently but kept very rarely. We make such small promises very easily and very often with our kids, family members, relatives, friends but we forget them also very quickly. We all believe that breaking a big promise is not good but not keeping these small promises are ok rather acceptable.
I think, breaking any small or big promise directly affects our Trust-relationship with others, which we build over the years through number of experiences with others. Whenever we keep our promises howsoever small it is we develop trust and faith in the relationship. We all know, in reality, sometimes we do break some promises because of the circumstances, like if I promise to play basketball with my daughter and I fall sick in such case I can’t help but break my promise. Sometimes we overbook our calendar with the small and big promises and completely forget to keep small promises or ignore them to fulfil the bigger ones. As parents we often make number of such small promises to our kids and break them time to time. In such cases we must apologise and give a detailed explanation about why we broke our promise. That way we could assure our kids that we as parents are truthful, trustworthy and believable and there is a valid reason to break the promise. Although we parents need to careful that breaking a promise, small or big, shouldn’t become a habit. When we keep a promise we help our kids understand the importance of the promise and about the trust and respect for each other.
During “Diwali” the festival of lights (End of Sept) I made a small promise (but a big and difficult one for the students) to my class students that.. “if they don’t burst crackers at all (to avoid noise, air, land pollution) they can make pizza here (that’s what they all wanted) OR to begin with, if they burst noise free crackers in a limited quantity then I would give them home made cupcakes.” As soon as the festival got over all the students showed me the list of crackers they burst and told me how they spent less money this year on the crackers and got only noise free crackers etc, and proudly told me, “Aunty, we have kept our promise and now it’s your turn…” They were asking me to keep my promise about the cupcake party as they had already kept theirs. I was happy to know that my students have understood what a promise means and how to keep it, now it was my turn to keep my promise and encourage them about their good behaviour. I knew, by keeping my promise I could teach them trustworthiness and respect for each other through my own example which they could relate to and follow easily. After all a promise is a promise and you must keep it…
Here are some pictures of our cupcake party and mask making activity … Enjoy!!!!