There are bad things parents like me may have modelled or indirectly taught their kids. It can be as simple as a bad habit of not washing hands after using the toilet or a subtle one like calling people names. Today I am focusing on kind words and gestures. This can be taught too, but to be intentional in teaching is always good.
Having a little child certainly opened me up to the endless things a child can learn with proper guidance. And one of this is a simple yet valuable virtue of being kind or compassionate. I am very grateful that she learned this at a young age which is less than two years old. She demonstrates this in several ways just like how my husband and I have shown it to her. Whenever someone is crying or hurt, she would ask “are you okay?”. She will also try to comfort me when I seem to be worried even with little things like whenever a toy is lost. I would act out in purpose and utter “oh no, the puzzle piece is missing”. She will try to help look for it. Then if I still can’t find it, she will say to me “don’t worry Mama” or “it’s okay”. She even hugs and pats my back when I pretend to cry about it hehe.
The first time I played a role to teach her something was actually when I wanted her to say “sorry”. I was making her feel conscious whenever she did something bad or hurting. For example, I would show her that I am crying if she accidentally hit me with the ball. It worked with consistency, and she would already initiate saying “sorry”. She would feel guilty about it and clearly knew she did something wrong. Sometimes it is quite funny, but I have to hold back my smile for her to get what I mean.
Looking back, there is joy in my heart that she obviously has developed a compassionate heart. A while ago, she somehow shared my sentiment when I stood on the counter as I was trying to reach for something up in the highest shelves. She probably sensed that it was quite dangerous and that I might fall. She was thoughtful enough when I saw her concerned eyes and told me “be careful Mama”.
With all my drama in different situations, I feel that I was able to instill kindness in her together with my husband’s teamwork. I appreciate that she feels concerned whenever something is not right. I just hope that it will remain in her and that she will not be influenced by the rudeness which is inevitable in this world.