Try Kindness First ~ Written by Jamie C. Martin
The other morning found me stressed, irritable, overwhelmed.
The reason? Everything…and nothing, rolled into one. You know how that goes, right?
A looming deadline, plenty of work, not enough sleep, kids and home to care for – the business (& busyness) of life.
Wandering around to gather supplies so I could head out for a morning of writing, I hurriedly grabbed laptop, power cord, research books – tears gathering in my eyes all the while.
Before I left Steve pulled me into his arms.
“Everything’s going to be okay. You can do this. I love you so much. You’re my favorite person.”
Relief and courage overpowered my heart.
Kindness made all the difference.
But imagine if instead, the words spoken sounded more like this:
“What is wrong with you this morning? You need to get it together, or I’ll give you even more work to do!”
Yet how often do we take that approach with our children? It’s far easier to go straight for the consequences, isn’t it?
Think back to a time when you were feeling your most fragile and vulnerable – has harshness ever helped you smooth over inner rough places?
So when she’s a tad cranky at the table, I’ll imagine what I would like done if it were me. I’ll make a cup of tea, slide it over to her and kiss the top of her head.
Or when he can’t find his hat (again), I’ll imagine how I feel when I lose my keys or phone. Then I’ll take three minutes to help him look. (We found it, fyi!)
And what about the days when it all goes to pot for the mama and kindness comes last instead? That’s okay, too.
Our own imperfections play a huge role in this process – because our kids need to learn to try kindness first as well, with us!
We teach them so much more about life through screwing up, apologizing, and attempting to learn from our mistakes than we ever could through a fruitless quest for perfection.
That’s why I felt proud yesterday when a child noticed my frazzled energy and said, “Can I rub your back, Mom?”
Random acts of kindness – they can change the world. And our homes. It’s the Golden Rule, not rocket science.
Consequences are sometimes required, and I don’t mean to suggest otherwise.
But try kindness first. It’s powerful.
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