Covid-19 · Fostering · Parenting · Uncategorized

Caught or Taught?

“Why do people leave their shopping carts all over! It’s not that hard to just put them away!”

This was said in an exasperated tone by my 13 year old foster daughter the other day in the Costco parking lot.

I smiled on the inside… some things do just rub off without ever saying a word! I don’t recall every saying to them, “Always put your shopping cart away. It’s the respectful thing to do.” I’m pretty sure we’ve never said it, we just always do it.

When we were new parents we took a parenting course and the fellow that taught it emphasized that your children are always watching you, so be the kind of person you would be proud to see your child become. He used the example of putting your grocery cart in the buggy corral when you were done instead of leaving it out where it would be in the way and potentially damage another vehicle. He shared that we should never let being lazy stop us from being respectful.

It stuck. I have always put my shopping cart away since then. Even in the rain or the snow filled parking lot that’s almost impossible to navigate. It’s just something we do!

Our bio kids probably remember a torrential downpour that suddenly hit as we were coming out of the store from getting groceries. Almost everyone abandoned their carts and jumped in their cars and left. My kids jumped out and put everyone’s carts away… and they all had quarters in them at the time. It was quite the haul for them!

Putting our cart away is just something we do. Always. Sometimes I gather the scattered carts and put them away too. I want to be an example of the difference little things can make.

It’s a small thing, but it is encouraging to think that some of what you model is caught! Not everything has to be a specific lesson or rule. Hopefully being respectful by putting your cart away carries over into more important things in life. Like being on time, respecting the property of others and doing your best when you’re given a job.

No guarantees though… being on time is a constant battle!!

What did you “catch” from your parents? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

In the midst of the mess


2 thoughts on “Caught or Taught?

  1. Though it was never verbalized to my siblings or myself, my dad always showed great care and love for the outdoors. Whether that was fishing, hunting, hiking, or whatever. Though he never was perfect he was and to this day, consistent… I don’t remember his failures… I remember -to the best of his ability- his consistency in his actions.


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