Throughout life, we all encounter unpleasant people and situations. As a mother I watch children and adults walk around with chips on their shoulders. I ask, “how hard is it to just Be Kind?” Seriously, how much energy will it take to teach our children to be kind to others? How much energy does it take for us as adults to show a bit of kindness to the next adult?
Being Kind Is Simple Or Is It?
We think being kind to others should be simple, but it really isn’t. Why? We are humans. We have a difference of opinions, goals, expectations, tolerances, and lifestyles.
Have you ever walked into a grocery store and the cashier is just nasty to you for no reason? I’m sure you’re shaking your head YES! We all have. How do you respond? I bet you’re saying that you go off, tell a manager, etc. Did you ever think to just show a bit of KINDNESS back instead? Maybe flash a smile, ask how their day is going. Tell them to have a good day as you walk away.
Trust me; I get it. You want to jump across that counter and ring their neck, but that’s not the example your child needs to see. When I think of my own kids’ actions it reminds me how they’ve witnessed my handling of situations with others. Yes, I’ve acted a fool before. And yes, I had to check myself. I promise you, though, I’ve gotten much further in life by showing kindness to the nastiest of people. Truth is, these people need to see a little bit of compassion. These people may have a struggle, a situation, or a life changing event going on. These people may need a little bit of sunshine in their lives. And you my friend was placed there to be their sunshine for the day.
Teaching Our Kids To Be Kind
Besides our children watching how we treat others when crossing paths with strangers, we must also instill ways to encourage them to step up and be kind. Kindness doesn’t always have to be reactive. The best kindness is when it’s proactive. What do I mean by this?
Being proactive with kindness means stepping out. Get out of your comfort zone or out of your “group.” Talk to your child about offering the new kid at school a seat at lunch time, or to join in for a game of kickball at recess. Did you catch the key word? TALK. For our youth to understand and demonstrate kindness, they need to visualize it AND hear how to go about it.
I have daughters, my middle daughter LOVES writing her little friends notes. She’s even stepped out to write a child that appeared to be a bit lonely a letter a few times. We are a military family, so my kids are the new kids often. When I asked the reason for writing the note to the “lonely” kid, my child responded, “I know how it feels.” Although it broke my heart, it also warmed it.
Be Kind to others, it REALLY does go a long way!