So I stumbled upon an article on Scary Mommy titled ‘Raising Kind Kids — Because The World Needs It’. It is written by a mother who tries to teach her children to be kind and put it as a priority over homework. Here’s a piece of it (but I highly recommend to read the full article, it takes less than 10 minutes):
It’s hard to ignore the anger infesting our world these days. The news makes me want to weep and scream — sometimes at the same time. Comment sections on internet articles are filled with hate. Public shaming is rampant, and everyone seems angry about everything. People are sad and angry and hurting.
And the antidote to all of this? Kindness. Don’t be an asshole seems to be the motto of good and decent people, but it takes more than not being an asshole; it takes kindness.
We can talk to our kids about being kind all day, but talking about it only gets us so far. We need to show them how to be kind too.
Since the first time I knew I was pregnant, I started to think about things from different perspectives. When I watch the news, I wonder how I would explain everything later to my kids; anger, hatred, corruption, injustice, selfishness, and even religion. I want a better world for my child, but it means that I have to raise a better child for the world and I realize that raising a better child means being better parents.
I also realize that getting better is not a great thing, it’s little things in great amount.
The article then reminds me of one of the little things that Bunda, my mother, taught me and kept telling me to share: kind words.
I told you I’m an introvert and I was awful at initiating conversation when I was little. I was awful at small talks. On the other hand, Bunda, my extrovert mother is the master of socializing. She is that person that connects easily with people and be good at maintaining it. When we visited friends or family, Bunda told me, “Compliment people, use kind words on conversations and be positive. They cost you nothing but mean a lot.” She showed me how to do it, “Wow, your house is beautiful,” or, “Wow, your daughter is so cute,” or, “Wow, it seemed that you don’t age because you looked younger than the last time I saw you!”
It took me some time to do it because I don’t want to lie or be sarcastic (I was already born with sarcasm in my blood so I don’t need to practice it) by telling, “What a beautiful garden!” when the plants are clearly yellow and dying. But then slowly I learned that there’s always space for kind words as long as we have kind intention. I learned to be positive and see the goodness in a person because everyone has it.
I can tell you that the intention to spread kindness affects my perspective when I scroll through social media timelines. I tend to be as positive as possible when I see people sharing pictures from their last holiday, photos of their babies, achievements of their kids at school, new things they just bought, skin care or make up they tried, coffee and fancy lunch they had or even the lame jokes or honest thoughts (as long as they are not provocative or full of hatred). I always try my best (although I admit that it doesn’t always succeed) to find something to be responded sincerely with kind words.
I learned to be kind with kind words. I’m still learning it from my mother and I hope that my kids later will learn it from me.
I promise I’ll try my best to raise kind kids.