Kindness Must Be Taught

Friday, February 10, 2017

My middle daughter came out of the womb with an exceptionally kind heart. Since she was old enough to walk, she's been sharing and showing compassion to her family. She's got a special blanket that she's incredibly attached to, but without fail, if one of her sisters gets hurt, if someone is crying or sad, or if I'm laying on the couch not feeling well, she brings her trusty blanket and wraps it around the person in need. She often chooses random moments to stop playing and comes to kiss me on the cheek, then resumes her activity. She gladly gives up her portion so that her sister can have two (not all the time, but it has happened more than once). THIS IS NOT THE NORM!!!
 


Most children, including my other two daughters, are not born inherently kind. I mean honestly, as sweet as little ones are in so many ways, they basically want what they want, when they want it; they don't like sharing; they are selfish. It's human nature, which is why as parents, we must teach them to be kind. I constantly find myself saying things to my girls like, "Was that a kind thing to say?" "Use kind words!" "Be kind to your little sister!" "Ignoring her is disrespectful and not kind." We often stop and talk about what kindness is and I make them brainstorm examples. But are my efforts working? I believe so. You see, a wise woman once told me that home is the training ground and it isn't always pretty, but how your kids behave outside the home is the real test of what your teaching inside the home. When I pick them up from a playdate or from the childcare at the gym, they often jump in the car eager to tell me the details of their time away from me, and so often, they tell me in great detail about how they were kind to someone. They are excited to tell me all about it because they know I'll be proud of them, sure. But I believe they are also telling me because they feel good about it and want to share their excitement with me. Being kind feels good!

 


Home is the place where kindness is taught. Our girls are watching us! They see how we speak to and treat our husband. They're deeply aware of the tone in our voice when we speak to them. They hear us on the phone, whether it's a friend or an annoying salesperson. They watch and absorb how we treat others when we're in public. Yes, we teach them by talking about kindness, but much, much more by how kind we actually are. Let's pray together for the Lord to help us teach our daughters to have a spirit of kindness that is woven into their everyday lives; kindness that flows from deep within their heart, that exists because of God's loving-kindness toward them. And let's make it one of the many prayers we pray over our girls, that the Lord would give them kind hearts that love well.

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