Kindness cannot be taught ,it has to be felt. Children are like sponges.They respond to loving and cuddles in the same way you would.Plus they learn from you to be whatever way works.
If perseverance is a quality I want her to develop for her success in life.The kindness I want her to learn to enjoy that success with people who love her.
Kindness begets kindness.While it’s not possible to be kind to everyone at heart , our words should never be unkind.Harsh words can scar deeper than swords.Once when Rai was upset about a sketch pen set I couldn’t find she looked mutinous and said,
No you have to find it.You are a bad mommy!
I knew it was a momentary thing for the little one, it still it broke my heart.I thought back to the times I have told her she is being a naughty girl.Since patience is a virtue which has long since been a personal struggle I decided to have a talk with my hubby.My hubby is one of the kindest most patient people I know.He can speak kindly even when angry.So here I was waiting for some wisdom to be revealed.
He said something very simple.
Whenever you want to say something harsh to someone, just take a deep breath, and in that moment think.Would you want to hear the same if the tables were turned?
Interesting !In moments of self-congratulatory righteousness, we often forget how the other person feels.That’s empathy when we feel others pain by Putting yourself in someone else’s shoes.
Mommy learnings about kindness
- While scolding Rai I try to show firmness and kindness.I criticize the action.Not the little person our future adult.
- I have a monthly ritual.I make her choose the games and toys she wants to gift to another child who has less.This way she will learn (hopefully) that, what she has is a blessing.Many children live with less.Teaching them thankfulness is a good way to raise happy, well-adjusted children.
- Rai has been watering plants and helping me in the garden since she learned to walk.So she knows about taking care of living things.She has never torn a flower or a leaf without my permission.Occasionally she does want to pluck flowers, which I allow if they are at least one day old.Tearing leaves, not watering the plants is being unkind to them.This I think was easy to instill in her, as she saw me always taking care of plants.
- We have an aquarium.Initially, she used to tap at the wall of the aquarium forcefully and the little goldfish hid from her.But once I reminded her about her fear of the doorbell ringing loudly and loud firecrackers, she understood.Now she gently taps on the walls.A few plants and pets help children appreciate life and teach them about kindness, by doing.Vague gyaan rarely works on children.They need to see and feel the effect of kindness.I am a plant and fish mommy too.Rai knows she has plant and fish sisters & brothers !
- Always being kind to people who help us.The grocer, maid, gateman, driver, neighborhood shop uncle everyone needs to be thanked.I ask her to use the three magic words, please, thank you and sorry and mean it!Make them understand, the important service these people give and what would happen if they disappeared.Imagine the workload, when your maid does a disappearing act!You will see an instant lowering of voice.
- I avoid arguing about volatile topics, in front of Rai.Occasional disagreements are okay.But if I am afraid of turning into a screeching banshee, I keep it for after she sleeps.Okay, not the best solution.But the only thing I can manage now! The most difficult part of being kind is when you are angry.
Are you kind when you are angry?As a parent, my challenge is to walk the talk.So difficult.It’s a tough battle when I need to work on me before I can tell Rai to be good.But that’s the best, as well as the challenging part of motherhood.It’s a learning journey where self-improvement is one of the definite results.No mom wants their child to grow up unkind and vitriolic.So mommy needs to watch that tongue.
Writing this for #MondayMommymoments prompt this week.
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