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Leading by Example – A Pup Tent of Promises

Pup Tent of Promises – Keep Your Promise

Are you leading by example? Keeping Your Promises?

Example isn’t another way to teach, it is the only way to teach. ~ Albert Einstein

My son Nate was around 5 years old when one particular week he kept asking me if we could camp out. I finally said in disgust, “We will do it this Saturday.” I figured there would be no way he would even remember by the time the weekend came. You guessed it, I was wrong.

We had gone shopping all day and had gotten home around 10 pm. As we unloaded the packages I noticed Nate standing over near the sliding glass door peering out observing the coming darkness of the night. I shared that he needed to get ready for bed.  On his way to his room he stopped, turned, and said, “Dad, you said we were going camping tonight. You promised!”

Honestly, I was very tired from being gone all day and I was in no frame of mind to sleep on the cold, hard ground in the back yard. I grunted to myself and thought of all kinds of reasons and excuses for not camping out that night. However, I kept hearing that little voice inside me yelling at the top of his voice, “You Promised”! 

Just to be clear, I am not a perfect Dad! I tried to talk him into next weekend when it was going to be warmer. I finally gathered up the tent and all the trappings and went out in our back yard. I found a spot and put the tent up.

Nate, Snoopy (our Dalmatian dog), and I all made our way out to the tent. We adjusted our blankets and pillows and laid there on the ground. We chatted for a while and then I heard the gentle snoring of, not only Nate, but also Snoopy. The lights went out in the house so I knew Erika, my wife, was on her way to bed.

The next thing I remember is waking up early Sunday morning to a gust of cold wind from the tent door. As I caught the flap hitting me in the face for the second time, I rolled over to wake up Nate. To my surprise, more accurately “shock,” Nate and Snoopy were both gone. All I could think was, “Erika is going to kill me for losing both of her kids!” I scurried around, finally got outside the tent, and looked around the yard. I found no trace of Nate or Snoopy. Finally I mustered up enough courage to go look for them in the house. I just hoped Erika would not wake up before I found them.

I carefully searched room to room. To my dismay, I found no trace.  I finally gave in to the fact that I was going to have to wake Erika and confess that I blew it. As I walked into our bedroom, I observed Erika asleep and under her arm was my son, Nate.  They looked so comfortable and warm. And there in my spot on the bed was Snoopy laying on his back with his head on my pillow snoring away.

Erika woke up and asked me what I was doing? I tried to explain. She simply replied, “Get into bed. I don’t know what has taken you so long to get in here. Nate and Snoopy came in about thirty minutes after you went outside last night. Where have you been?”

The lesson is simple: “If you make a promise  — KEEP IT”!  There are always a set of little eyes watching your example!

Question: Why is leading by example important to you? How important is it for you to keep a promise, especially to a child? We would love to hear what you have to say. Please comment below.

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