I Promise It Won’t Happen Again!

One of our mums came to school today (mums don’t usually have a lot to do with their children’s school here). She doesn’t speak any English so she told one of my assistants that her son had stolen some money from a neighbour.

It wasn’t a large amount, about the equivalent of $12, but it is a significant amount for a student at our school. They normally don’t have ten cents to rub together. We are not sure of the details but it seems the money was left on a table and the boy saw it and went in and took it. He spent a small portion of it. I’m not sure how he was found out, but the money was returned in full. His mum just wanted to let us know.

I took him aside after school for a quiet word. He is the last child I would ever think capable of stealing anything.

“Kitbok, did you take some money from someone?”

Big brown eyes stare at me and brim with tears.

“Yes, but we gave it all back.”

“Okay, I know. But you will never do anything like that again, will you?”

A violent shake of the head.

“You understand you mustn’t take anything from anyone without asking?”

He nods.

“You promise never to do that again?”

He says yes. His eyes are still moist.

I am hoping the fact that we didn’t beat him or shout at him or get angry (all considered acceptable practices here) will have the desired impact.

I believe he has learnt his lesson, hopefully for a lifetime.


5 thoughts on “I Promise It Won’t Happen Again!

  1. Your post makes me want to know more about where you are teaching. I imagine there are many stories of cultural differences and communication challenges. This piece is lovely, with the mother overcoming language difficulties to do what she knows is right. And I like how you told your part of the story with genuine dialogue. More, please 🙂


    1. Thank you! I am teaching in north east India, it’s a small town but basically a rural area where most families grow a lot of their own vegetables and sell the rest in the market, grow rice in paddy fields and live a very basic lifestyle unless they happen to own a coal truck or some kind of business. My husband built the school 9 years ago and I have set it up basically to serve the poor so they can learn with understanding instead of by heart. So their homes have no toilets, proper bathrooms or running water, they cook with charcoal or wood, sometimes a gas bottle.

      In this particular case, it’s all the more heartwarming as the mum is bipolar and on medication and last year she really had some issues when she didn’t take her medication and ended up in a psychiatric hospital for several months. To see her caring for her children again means a lot.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Moms are the same worldwide, aren’t they? We want to raise good kids and do our best to provide consequences. I hope with your gentle conversation, he’ll think twice the next time he is tempted


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