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Thursday, July 09, 2009

A Lesson in Honesty

Recently my girl brought back her classmates workbook by mistake. She does not know how it happened because he sits quite far away from her. "Maybe someone accidentally passed it to her" she figures.

She is afraid. "Mummy, can I go to school early and put it on his table before he comes?" I told her No, she cannot do that. She is afraid that the boy will scold her. She is afraid that he will tell teacher that he could not do his homework because she took his book home and teacher will scold her too.

Although I know that she is afraid and worried about it, I have to choice but to tell her to face it. "You have made a mistake. Even though someone may have accidentally passed the book to you, you are responsible for putting it in your bag. I hope that this will teach you a lesson to be more careful in the future. So you have to go to the boy and say you are sorry you accidentally took his book home. If the boy tells teacher you have to say sorry to teacher too."

"Mummy, it will be so hard to check my bags. It will take a long time to check each book! Mummy how to say sorry I accidentally took your book in Chinese?" She had many questions and worries. I told her that she need not check each and every book. She only has to look at each book before putting them in her bag. Those that are already in the bag are hers. (She thought that she had to take each and every book out to check. How sweetly innocent.)

She was worried and scared but she agreed. Later I saw her write down in the little notebook I gave her.


1. Return book to A
2. Copy homework from B

She had missed school and did not know her homework so I had asked her to check with the boy that sits beside her. Thats why she included item No. 2.

When she got home that day, she showed me her notebook. On it was written...

"Mummy, when I gave A back his book, and said sorry ah i accedentelly took your book, He said Oh! Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you!!! and didin tell teacher! And this moning, he started doing his homework aready!"

She treats her little notebook as her personal "Communication book". She often draws a line and an "X" and asks me to sign on the line after reading. Just like the Communication Book between teachers and parents where the teacher would ask them to copy down any homewoke or any important announcements and request that the parents sign them.

So she learned an important lesson today. That she has to own up for her mistakes and the outcome of owning up need not necessarily be bad all the time. I think she was very happy.


  1. oh....wow....very grownup.

    Your kids are turning up very well....wondering about this over anxiousness in your daughter though....

    Love to read your stories....

  2. Ann,
    Yes, Sometimes I worry about her over anxiousness.

  3. Great parenting on honesty.

    I am using iphone, and I have few applications for To Do List or task management. Yet, I still choose to keep a "555" book in my pocket. :) ... write down my to do list and cross it whenever it is done. Nothing beat the simplicity and usability of "555" book.

  4. molly,
    We use the 555 book too but sometimes I forget to read! So now, I put my calander appointments on MSN which sends me email reminders. I can't miss those because I check my emails daily. :P


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