Teaching your child to be kind is harder than you realize, however, far more valuable in the long run.
We teach them to be polite, not to cross the road when a car is coming, not to hit people, that hands are for hugs, and a plethora of other things. But it wasn’t until my daughter left her small Christian school to enter into a world of the unknown (public middle school, yikes!) that I felt the importance of the life lessons I had been working on diligently with her all these years. Enjoy the first ten years of your kid because once they hit 11, seriously it is a whole new ball game.
One day not long ago I overheard a conversation she was having with another tweener from her new school.
The other young lady commented that she thought girl (insert the name of any tweener here) was so pretty and nice. I almost high-fived my own bad self when I heard my daughter’s response. It was if she had recorded what I said in her memory bank and played it back verbatim.
“Anyone can be pretty and nice. She’s ok, but I really prefer to be friends with (insert name here) because she is kind and beautiful, and she’s super smart”.
As a mom, this was a moment in my life that made me so proud of all the tuition money, bible devotions, vocabulary tests, prayers and whatever other life lessons I can take credit for right now! Yay to me, fist bump to all the moms in the world right now that have tried to teach this same lesson because they are listening, don’t give up!
Every day when she was little I used to ask her what the most important thing to be when she grew up was, and she would always say:
“It’s most important to be kind. After being kind, be smart and make good choices. Being beautiful comes from those things because anyone can be pretty”.
YES! She listened. And she understood what I had explained over and over and over, in so many ways, with all different words. I’ve tried to be an example to her of beauty and kindness, which isn’t always easy when sometimes you don’t want to be any of those things. There are days we all just want to be ugly and mean, it takes a lot of strength to be a mom!
Oh dear daughter, being nice is an act of doing something for someone, being kind is how you live a life of being a good person who tries to be selfless and do for others.
Looking in the mirror is how you go about seeing if you are pretty, being beautiful is how you look on the inside and you never need a mirror. When you are beautiful on the inside, it shows right through to the outside.
It’s ok sweet girl to be the smart kid.
No one likes a girl who just acts dumb, that’s a false rumor. God gave you a useful brain don’t try to disguise it. Especially to impress a boy because if he is a boy worth impressing, he wouldn’t like a dumb girl anyway!
She might ignore me these days.
She might want to sit at another table with her friends. She might even get mad at me and slam the door in my face. (It’s all hormones, because surely my sweet little lady can’t possibly want to ignore me intentionally.) But I get it, one day she will realize I’m a pretty cool mom. My best friend tells me they return to you around 22. I have about ten years of roller coaster rides until that time.
But whatever she does, I know she heard me when she was little.
So hang in there moms, it matters.
All those words of teaching, gems of wisdom and sprinkles of glitter we are giving our little girls are in there. We just might not be appreciated until much later, but we can have the self-satisfaction that they are hearing us. Let’s just not stop talking to them and endure the door slams and the eye rolling and whatever else we get. It’s all comes full circle; we did it to our moms now it’s their turn almost like a rite of passage.
Just don’t stop teaching our girls to be kind and beautiful. And as importantly, lead by example and just be kind and beautiful. We owe it to ourselves.