Friday, February 28, 2014

Kindness Wins

Lately I've been parenting through a lot of girl drama.  Nothing major, just the typical ten and eleven year old girl stuff that drives moms batty.  It's hard to listen to because no matter how I try to solve the problem, I just "don't understand."  The more I talk the more frustrated my daughter becomes, and I finally end up solving the problem with "just walk away!"  or "oh my goodness just IGNORE them!"  And the worst part about it?  My ten year old drama was so much worse.  I was light years ahead in tween cattiness.  I could have written the screenplay for the movie "Mean Girls."  Except the main characters would have been in 4th grade.  Literally.

It's not something I'm proud of and I'm eternally grateful for the many "aha" moments in my life that have changed my ways.  The strange thing about having been a catty girl is that I know my heart was good.  It is very easy to get caught up in being ignorant to how other people feel; and trying to build yourself up while hurting feelings in the process.  Truthfully by the time I was in high school I was already over it, and my focus shifted to boys and athletics.  

Which just brought more drama, only a different kind.

My daughter's drama is much less intense and less cruel, but that may only be because she's young.  She has a few years to experience all the craziness that accompanies having only an "x" chromosome.  The thought scares me.  We've had a few instances that involved being "left out" and a few that involved hurt feelings.  Let's not forget a few of the "she said it nice but I know she was being mean" kind.  I call it the girl specialty. 

The biggest lesson I'm trying to teach my kids is to be proactive.  Use your words.  If something is bothering you, speak up.  But do it kindly.  After all, you may be misinterpreting someone.  You may be making a bigger deal of something than necessary.

In my life, I've found that what you put into the world is what you get back.  If you respond with kindness, you encourage kindness.  If you respond with anger, you only breed more anger.  No matter what is happening around you, how you behave is a choice.  You control your space.

Last night, I reminded my daughter that people can only make you feel bad if you let them.  It's a hard lesson, but it's true.  What people say and do is ON THEM.  What you do in response is ON YOU.  You have to own your actions, and the best response for anything troubling you is kindness.  It's the best weapon in the arsenal.

Be a light, and radiate happiness.  Everyone, every age is drawn to someone who is positive.  And the only way to beat catty girls (and catty anyone) is with kindness.  

It wins.  Always.

I'm realizing toddlers may test your patience, but as kids grow up they just test your energy.  And your sanity.  They test just about everything all day long.  I never imagined maneuvering through troubles such as "being left out of decorating the classroom bulletin board."  There are no instruction manuals for the problems these kids bring home.

My answer to everything is now kindness.  Tell them the board looks nice and offer help.  What they say is ON THEM.

Happy Friday all.  Kindness wins.  

1 comment:

Throw in your two cents!