Thursday, January 19, 2012

Integrity and Spelling Bees

As a mom, there are certain values that I try to embody in myself as well as encouraging them in my children.  One of these is integrity.  We've tried to instill a sense of honesty in our kids, but I believe that integrity goes beyond just being honest.  When you have integrity you make the choices that are morally right, even if it isn't popular or if no one else knows.
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Yesterday and today I watched The Author, Mr. Adventure, and Little Miss Sunshine participate in spelling bees.  I never would have thought that spelling bees and integrity would go hand in hand, but I've discovered that they do.  The Author had her contest yesterday.  She stayed calm, cool and collected and advanced to the school district competition.  I was mentally taking notes of the words thinking that I could quiz the other two later on.  Then her teacher dropped the bomb on me that all of the competitions used the same words!  I knew I had a choice -- I could cheat and coach the other two on the exact words they would have, or I could keep those to myself and just help them with random words.
Little Miss Sunshine asked me to quiz her and wouldn't you know it, the first word I saw as I looked at her list was one of the competition words.  I took a deep breath and looked down the list for another word.  Was it an easy choice to make?  Yes and no.  My protective instincts tried to kick in and I wanted to make sure my nervous kids would succeed.  On the other hand, I knew that I  couldn't spit in the face of all the discussions and lessons we have had on being honest and showing integrity.  After the written round of the competition today, I knew that both Mr. Adventure and Little Miss Sunshine would probably not move to the oral round.  But that's okay.  They still have next year and the year after that, etc. to move through the different levels.
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We also had an opportunity to discuss integrity while I was driving Mr. Adventure and Little Miss Sunshine to their competition.  They were talking about a school friend that intentionally misspelled every word at the grade level testing so that he wouldn't be asked to participate.  I asked if there could have been a better way to handle his desire to not participate.  We settled on the solution that you should do your best and try to spell the words correctly, but then politely turn down the invitation to compete at the school level.

I think we all learned something and strengthened our desire to show integrity.

Linking up:  Foley Fam

1 comment:

Lesley at Fabulously Flawed said...

Wow! That is a very difficult spot to be in!
I know on one hand you want your children to feel proud of their accomplishments but you don't want it to be a hollow victory.

My friend and I were just talking this morning about how honesty is the pillar on which a healthy relationship stands. And, honesty comes in so many forms.
Responsibility, nurture, respect...

Bravo to you and yours, good momma!