People are more important than things

The tipping tea logo here at live.play.learn is a reminder that people are more important than things. That relationship comes first. That connection is vital. That all other things are secondary.

I love tea. There is an entire cupboard in my kitchen dedicated to tea. It isn’t a huge cupboard but it is specifically for storing my tea in. I say ‘my’ tea because i am (currently) the only tea lover in our household. I have a decent sized collection of teas available and I love sharing them with others.

One of my favourite things to do is to visit tea shops and try new blends and usually buy one to bring home. In my favourite version of this scenario I am also with my friend and we eat cake.

I have an accompanying growing collection of beautiful cups and mugs. Each one chosen because the design caught my attention or as a souvenir from a visit somewhere or it is a loving gift from a friend. Each time I brew a pot of tea I choose which cup I would like to use based on the time of day or the type of tea I am making or even the mood I am in.

But then,

sometimes my tea goes cold,

or sometimes it is over brewed

or sometimes it get spilled

and maybe one day one of my cups will chip or hit the floor and smash.

In all of these possibilities it is most likely caused by a young person. Is my tea ruined? Yes. Has my special moment passed? Definitely. Is my special, costly tea, unsuitablefor drinking? Yes. Am I potentially saddened by the thought of a broken mug? Absolutely. Am I upset by these things? Highly likely.

However, is the loss I experience in these scenerios more important than my child? No. Is the tea more important than responding to my child’s needs? No. Is my favourite mug of more value than my children? No.

People are more important than things and building healthy relationships comes first. And my response to my child must reflect this attitude.

My response to my child should be loving and gracious and patient and kind.

Consider how you would react if your upset and been caused by an adult. Maybe a slightly different scenario: Maybe your friend repeatedly spills the same bowl of sugar over your sofa; or red wine is spilled onto your white clothes; or the oily variety of red kitchen paint is knocked over onto your cream carpet. How do you react? Are you not loving and gracious and patient and kind?

And at a later date it becomes a memorable story to reminisce over and laugh together. All of the examples here are real events that I remember and build connections between the people involved. Similarly I can think of examples that have happened with my children that are now part of our family history, like the time my three year old was helping unpack the shopping and he dropped a box of 9 eggs and they all smashed all over the floor.

A moment like that can increase our connection with our children if we chose a path that prioritises relationship. When we extend love instead of anger, grace instead of punishment, patience instead of retaliation, kindness instead of shame. People are more important than things. Relationship is the priority. Always.

It takes five minutes to clear up spilled milk. It takes much longer to clean up a broken spirit.

Rebecca Eanes

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Published by heiditsteel

Teacher turned Unschooler: passionate about autonomous education and supporting our children's natural inclination towards learning through play.

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