Climbing trees was a favorite outdoor adventure for me as a boy. The biggest tree around was a short distance from our house near the school. It was a huge and stately tree with giant branches that made climbing it very easy.
On this infamous day Karl and I were going for a new record for how high we could climb. My mother would probably die if she knew how far up we got that day. After a couple of hours in the tree Karl and I were sitting in the shade celebrating when we both noticed something.
A short distance away was a small church we hadn’t paid much attention to before. The church had low windows around the side that were just the right height for looking in. Being curious boys we had to go see what was inside the church. As we looked through the windows we saw classrooms full of church stuff. Then I spotted something of great importance.
“Hey Karl”, I said excitedly to get his attention. “Look at that little plastic church bank near the window. That’s where kids put their birthday money on Sundays. We have one just like that at my church.” As I leaned against the small window it tilted slightly. With a little help I was able to open the window all the way easily.
I was now faced with a dilemma.
Should I, or shouldn’t I?
It didn’t take long to decide. Without a word I quickly climbed through the window and was in. As I picked up the miniature church bank it felt heavy with coins. Quickly I discovered how to open it and filled my pockets with all of the contents.
After climbing back through the window I forgot to close it.
Karl and I quickly decided to head for the local grocery store to buy whatever we wanted. It didn’t take us long to buy as much candy and pop that we could and then head back to the tree to celebrate.
As we were enjoying our fourth or fifth candy bar and soda pop a police car quickly pulled up. We were instantly terrified. The officer approached us and asked if he had seen anyone breaking into the church? We knew we had been caught so we confessed that we were the burglars.
With great embarrassment we delivered to our homes by the policeman a short time later. I knew instantly I was in really big trouble. After confessing our robbery to our parents the officer thanked us for telling the truth.
Two Important Lessons
That day I learned two important lessons: Honesty is the best way to go. Secondly, I learned that stealing is wrong, and stealing from a church is even worse. I eventually had to repay the church with my meager allowance for many months and apologize to the Pastor for stealing. These lessons although embarrassing at the time, were etched into my memory. I still remember them vividly today.
Your son will provide you many opportunities through his failures, mistakes, foolishness, and even success to teach life skills.
Lectures Don’t Work
The key is to use an actual experience or event to teach instead of using lectures filled with knowledge. Look for real life experiences to teach your son.
What are some of your greatest lessons you learned through experience as a child?
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