What I Expect of My Children

I truly believe that we are put on this earth to be kind to others.  When I became familiar with Think Kindness through Brian William’s TedEx speech, I knew I wanted to support this cause.  Kindness, and the mission of Think Kindness has meant so much to me that I even joined the board of directors of this charity.

That is why it took me by surprise recently when twice in a week, I discovered that my kids had been really unkind.  I know that kids will be kids, but there was an instance where my son said something hurtful to the new kid at the bus stop, and my daughter was downright disrespectful and rude to our babysitter.

I found myself giving both kids the same talk in one week.  It went something like this:

You are a good person.  I expect a lot of things out of you, but most importantly, I expect you to be kind and respectful.

I then asked my children how they would feel if someone would have treated them as they had done.  They both admitted that they would have been sad or upset.  So the talk ended with this:

In all that you do, I want you to treat people as you want to be treated.  I want you to lift people up and not to tear them down.  Always be kind and respectful.  When you find that you haven’t been kind and respectful, have the courage to admit your mistake and apologize to that person — make it right.

The Golden Rule — definitely words to live by.

As I was giving this little speech twice in one week, I realized that I had said these words many times before, and I consciously plan to use these same words in the future.  I believe in my kids.  I believe that they are good.  They are expected to be kind and respectful.  I’m hoping with repetition and loving enforcement, perhaps they’ll start to hear my voice in their heads as they’re off in the real world making their own decisions.

There is definitely that little voice inside of me that says, how can you be so vocal and supportive of kindness when your own kids aren’t following that example? 

I silence that voice by reminding myself that these children I’ve been blessed with are a work in progress.  They are learning, and they are testing their boundaries.  I am not a failure, but I must be persistent and mindful of living a life that demonstrates kindness by proving to them that I am a woman of my word.  I will always hold the bar high for my children — especially when it comes to kindness.