Notice When Our Children Pay Forward an Act of Kindness
The girls had played hard in the McDonald playroom while I enjoyed a leisurely cup of coffee and it was time to head home. As we exited the restaurant two elderly women approached the door. I moved to hold the door open for them when Emma coming from behind me held the door open for them.
Inwardly I beamed at this “random act of kindness” on her behalf. As the women passed by her each said thank you and she beamed outwardly.
Back in the car I gave voice to my pride and we talked about what she had done.
Learning through watching
She knew it was the right thing to do because she had watched the adults around her do the same thing - hold the door open for old people, people carrying babies or parcels and for people with physical disabilities like her cousin.
Learning through experiencing
As we pulled out of the parking lot I asked her if people are always thankful when she holds doors for them. She sat for a while and then said no sometimes they ignore her and just walk away and once they got mad and told her to just go away. Luckily these experiences did not happen often and were outweighed by the positive experiences.
What are you teaching your children or grandchildren?
Children are watching and learning not only from us (family), daily life (school and neighbourhood) but also TV and other media. They will observe negative behaviours like smoking and drinking, rudeness and resolving differences with violence as well. Better that we reinforce the values we want them to adopt by deliberately talking about their actions and the actions of others. And better still that we focus on the positive values: make note of their Random Acts of Kindness.