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Posts Tagged ‘children’

Teaching Panhandling to Children

I don’t like to use my blog to vent too often, but I have a pet peeve — and it has to do with pulling up to a traffic light and having children walk up to my car asking for money to support their trip to “the championship game”.  What bothers me is not that I can’t reach into my pocket and give $2 or reach into my ashtray and dump all my loose change in their bucket; what irks me is the effect that I think this type of practice will create for these impressionable minds.

Perhaps I’m reading too deep into this. I do not mean to say that children should not feel inclined to ask for help from their community – what I’m more concerned of is that the adults who are leading children to these intersections are teaching children to ask for a handout, rather than teaching them how to earn their means to their desired goal.

Why can’t the team invite me to one of the local games and charge a small admission? Maybe they can hold a concession stand or offer car washes? I just don’t like the idea of giving children a bucket and sending them to every car stalled at a traffic light – not when there’s a more life-teaching way to help them earn money for the team.

As a little league girls softball coach for the past three years, I would never consider sending my girls out to ask for money to help us get to our tournament. I would meet with the parents and come up with ways to earn funding. Of course I would put those little girls to work, but make no mistake they would clearly see that we are all talented, skilled and innovative enough to earn the funding we need – for whatever purpose.

Although, I may still decide to help the occassional child that strolls by my car wearing a jersey and holding a bucket for contributions,  I think I will hold a conversation with that coach or parent that is usually off to the side on their cell phone, sitting in some foldable recreation chair.

Should I ask them for a few bucks so I can get to my destination?  It would be interesting to hear their response.

I’m sure you love your kids, but do you like them?

I love my daughters.  I love them because their mine.  Slowly, over the years however I’ve noticed that I like them too. I mean, their personalities too. In other words, I like WHO they are. Now, I don’t dare think my daughters are perfect or BETTER than other kids, they make mistakes. At times, they misbehave. But, when it comes to the deep-seeded values I’ve tried to place in them, they not only get it, they are holding on to it.

Over the years of watching them play in the back yard with each other and neighborhood kids, I would observe HOW they play. I’ve watched them calm down other kids and encourage fairness and discourage meaness, which sometimes kids can embody. The biggest confirmation, however, that lets me know they have the personalities I admire is when I’m watching and they don’t know it. They still play with the same integrity and fairness as if I’m right there in the room.

Last weekend I traveled with my oldest daughter to South Carolina to the Capital Book Festival. I actually enjoyed our trip, both being at the festival and riding in the car talking and singing “GLEE” songs with Kayla. The whole time in SC we had fun talking and hanging out – as Father and daughter – yes.  But also as two people who simply enjoyed each other’s company. I always enjoy hanging with these girls.

Now my eight year old is asking to be a part of my next road trip. I’m all for it.

Take my three year old? I love her and like her, but  not yet. :)

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