Teaching (One Escalator Ride at a Time)

When I was expecting Trenton, I daydreamed often of the things we would be able to teach him. How to throw a ball, ride a bicycle, fly a kite.

By the time I became pregnant with Chase, I had a bit of motherhood experience under my belt. Not much, granted—they’re only 18 months apart—but it was just enough to have glimpsed the weight of nurturing a child to adulthood. My daydreams of those exhilarating teaching moments gave way to questions: How will we give our boys a strong sense of personal and family identity? How will we teach them to respect women? How in the world will I keep them from getting addicted to video games???

The other day the boys and I visited our shopping mall, almost exclusively for the purpose of riding the escalators. As we neared the top of our seventh flight (literally, I kept count!), Trenton noticed a man with tattoos covering his arms.

“We don’t do that to our arms, right Mom?”

Despite my worries when I was pregnant with #2, this is the type of teaching moment I LOVE. In fact, I think I like these brief opportunities even more than I liked teaching him to fly a kite.

My answer?

“That’s right, honey. We choose not to get tattoos because we like our bodies just the way Heavenly Father made them. But it’s okay if he chooses to get them. It’s his choice.”

And at that point, the moment was over and we were headed down the other escalator. 🙂

Now, I hope it goes without saying that if Trenton decides to get tattoos someday, we will love him every bit as much as we do now. In reality, this post has nothing to do with tattoos. My point here is that I am excited to teach our children the simple principle that just because their dad and I choose to do something one way, doesn’t mean we expect everyone—or anyone!—else to do the same. The beauty of it all is that God gave us the power to choose, and I am humbled by the opportunity I have to try to teach my children not to judge people for choosing differently.

Easier said than done, I’m sure. But we’ll take it one escalator ride at a time.


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  • Alia Joy
    April 24, 2012 at 5:08 pm

    I agree. I think there are so many liberties we have as Christians that come down to personal choice and have nothing to do with righteousness. We need to make sure we are parenting and teaching freedom and non judgement in the things that don’t matter that much and the pursuit of holiness in the things that do. Thanks for your thoughts.

    • Erica {let why lead}
      April 24, 2012 at 5:35 pm

      Thank you for commenting, Alia Joy! I love your words—”the pursuit of holiness in the things that do.” Perfectly and beautifully put.

  • Connie
    April 24, 2012 at 9:21 pm

    Great post!!! I completely agree. Parents can also speak from experience too. Eric has a couple of tattoos from his days before he was LDS. He tells the boys a shark bit him. He would advise completely against it. However, I really want my boys to know that the ultimate decision is theirs because they are the ones that are going to have to live with either the happiness or guilt the action causes.

    • Erica {let why lead}
      April 24, 2012 at 10:27 pm

      And even if Eric got another “shark bite” (haha) tomorrow, I hope I’d be able to teach my kids that it is none of their business! 🙂 Thanks, Connie – I loved your perspective!

  • Ashley Ditto
    April 25, 2012 at 3:50 am

    Love this Erica! I love how you said- teaching your children not to judge.

  • Aimee Lane - It's Overflowing
    April 25, 2012 at 3:57 am

    Oh my goodness, I can totally relate! We have those conversations daily! So sweet that they trust us to explain life to them and such a huge responsibility, too! Definitely having a loving heart towards others, whether or not we agree with their choices is so precious and hopefully will shape their forever!! Thanks for the sweet blog post!!! XO, Aimee

    • Erica {let why lead}
      April 25, 2012 at 4:16 am

      It really is amazing that we get to explain life to little people. Intimidating! Thanks so much for stopping by! -Erica

  • Kendall
    April 25, 2012 at 4:12 pm

    I’m so glad you’re teaching your boys they have a choice, not an ultimatum (against things like tattoo’s). They’re lucky to have such a great mom!

    • Alaina
      April 28, 2012 at 3:34 am

      I agree – beautifully put. I hope I remember your phrasing when the next such teaching moment comes up. 🙂

  • Becky K
    April 25, 2012 at 7:52 pm

    Teaching without judging – yes, it requires daily prayers for wisdom, doesn’t it? I just had this conversation with my 5-year-old today, when she begged to implement the same discipline tactic our neighbors use – 5 tickets, one taken away for each naughty action, and you’re grounded to your room when all 5 tickets are gone. (Why she actually wants this, I have no idea. Her tickets would be gone before breakfast some days.) So I explained that in our house, we use positive reinforcement. We have a system of grace, and it works for us. The neighbors are not wrong, just different. That’s their choice. Although I confess I’m thinking of doing the ticket trick just for a day, to show her she would fail miserably at it. Maybe THAT is my opportunity to teach grace vs. law! Ah-ha – I’m on to something. Thank you for another thoughtful post, Erica!

  • Escalator Cleaning
    February 2, 2013 at 1:22 pm

    When entering escalators and moving walkways, follow these guidelines. Don’t ride with canes, walkers, carts or wheeled vehicles. Don’t ride barefoot or with loose shoelaces.

  • Escalator Parts
    March 20, 2013 at 3:42 pm

    The escalator should remain on and should move in an upward motion, so that it is moving away from the cleaner. If the escalator has never been cleaned or it has a lot of built-up dirt, expect the escalator cleaning time to be about four hours or more.

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