I've come to realize that every minute of every day is rife with opportunity to teach our kids something, sometimes big and sometimes small, but always a chance. Of course, it is also a chance for us to learn something ourselves. I am far from believing as many years as I have had on this earth that those make me an full expert in ANYTHING! I am on the lookout not only to teach but to learn.
This last week saw what I thought was a potential massive missed opportunity for kids to learn a lesson about sportsmanship. I will pause and say first that I have some of this information from the press, and I am well aware that we receive versions of the truth through the press, but it's what I have to go on. In my house we are currently overcome with World Cup fever--fever I tell you!!! We love us some football, and yes that is what we call soccer in my house. You can imagine my dismay when the now-infamous biting incident occurred involving Luis Suarez of Uruguay and Giorgio Chiellini from Italy.
What has snowballed after that incident has been disturbing to behold, if indeed it is as reported.Suarez faces a hefty ban on future soccer activities, and whether or not you think that is fair is not the issue here. Sorry, that is not the minefield in which I plan to wade. The part of this story that is most bothersome to me has been the defense of Suarez, by teammates and country mates, and even political heads.
Does this man's talent, ability to win a game or bring in money overshadow the obvious truth here, that civilized adults simply don't bite one another? What does this teach our children for goodness sake? That if you are powerful enough it doesn't matter what you do?
This got me thinking about more everyday events where we as adults may make excuses of some kind for our own less-than-good behavior, even if not on par with a bite. I wondered how many times my kids heard me softly (or not so softly) berate someone in traffic when perhaps I should instead be showing them how to be patient. Or make a comment about a news item where my view trumps a more obvious point to be made. Hmm, food for thought.
None of us is infallible of course, but I do hope bringing this into my mind's forefront will prevent me as a parent from calling up paranoid theories rather than teach a lesson in acceptable behavior to my still impressionable kids.