Artist Date 11 – Teaching Children Kindness


So I’m part of a taoist group on Facebook, there has been a lot of chat about teaching children kindness and more over a collaboration between members on a document.  Such an interesting topic of conversation, pin pointing the best recipe in my opinion is not an easy task though.  My first response was reluctance because children are so individual, although it is only a collection of experiences from parents, by no means does it dictate.

I guess I’m still deciding if I should add a piece of writing to the collaboration, think I’ll ponder a little while longer.

It’s such a delicate science, getting it just right, not perfect please don’t mistake ‘just right’ for perfect 🙂

Lets begin at the end though, yes the end…

haven’t you heard regardless of now, it all ends well 🙂

So I decided after having my son, who is now four and half years that no matter the day or hour I would simply try my best because no matter what, when my son is grown he will always look back and wish I had done something different.  Its the nature of the beast so to speak, it is neither good or bad it just simply is.  This for some of us is a stumbling block or solid brick wall as we grow and try to better ourselves.  Each of our opinions on how we were raised can make or delay personal acceptance in later years.  I have had my own negative thoughts on how I was raised, today they have shrunk in size and no longer rein solely over me or my outlook.  You don’t erase memories of old, in my mind you don’t ‘get over’ life you learn to live with who you are having experienced that life.

We all know children are sponges they soak up everything they see, hear and experience.  If we were to teach our children kindness it’s logical for me to go straight to the adult.  I have been a waitress, waiting on a wide variety of people in numerous industries countless times, I have to tell you there is a clear correlation [for me] between adults being kind and children following suit.  How parents, adults, people regard one another is emulated in our children today.  When I look around I find that a scary thought however it is not one that will ever over come or fill me with fear because I have a job to do as a mother.  High up on my list of teaching children kindness is to help them live without fear.  Not an easy task given the current social climate but not an impossible task either 🙂

Something that jumps to my mind is how I used to scold my son for being honest, honest in the only way a child knows how – BRUTALLY!!  When recounting an embarrassing moment to a friend she highlighted to me that my son was only being honest and true to his nature.  From that time instead of scolding him I would accept that he was being true to his nature, children are allowed to dislike what adults ‘think’ they want.  And as he was not being rude or nasty the only thing I was doing was imposing my fear of how a child should act with regard to what is ‘socially acceptable’.

After a parent/ teacher appointment I have to tell you how happy I am with my sons development to date, however some of you might not think much of what she had to say.

His P1 teacher said she could tell he did not have a structured home life, that he was immature for his age, his speech could be difficult to understand at times and at story time he didn’t always answer questions correctly.

Thankfully his teacher is open minded and does see his stronger areas of development gross motor skills, his confidence and social skills.  None of what was said filled me with fear because I am confident he will grow as he should, everything at the right time, we have a great connection, I feel acutely aware of his needs.  I sensed his teacher was happy with my son/ his nature having told me that he does as he’s asked, is helpful, social and polite.

I see and over hear parents/ mothers talking about their children and what strikes me as unfortunate is just how many negative thoughts are being passed on to our children as they grow.  Few parents or adults within communities are willing to accept anything outside the ‘norm’ so instead of working with children they try to mold them to what is deemed socially acceptable.

It’s natural, what we don’t understand we fear, when a child displays behaviour outside the norm there has to be something wrong with him/her.  As a parent with a young child, attending fun days, mum and tot groups etc it seems child carers/professionals are having to work from an imposed idea, guidelines of growth, this idea does not allow for the individual being rather it is a check list of how a child on a mass scale should act/ grow and if your child doesn’t tick all the boxes…. well tusk, tusk!

I’m here to tell you my child has yet to tick all the boxes and I’m happy because he’s happy, he’s healthy, confident, has a strong concept of what he wants and has a great natural intuition.  It’s my belief that as we move forward more and more children will not meet the governments ‘checklist’ of normal.  Perhaps its time for a change in checklist, a change in the language chosen to describe children’s development and if we can be kind in our actions of helping children grow to their own nature perhaps we would experience a happier, healthy community around us.

How do we teach children kindness,

we be kind to ourselves,

we be kind to others,

we implement acceptance instead of judgement

throw away fear to make room for a more loving way to live.

love that is the light of healing

have a happy week 🙂

sd

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5 thoughts on “Artist Date 11 – Teaching Children Kindness

  1. Brilliant!!!….Raising a child is not an exact science….it’s an art!…You are an artist, so it should be a walk in the play-park!!…Best thing we can do for our kids, whilst they are growing up, is simply BE THERE for them…..Time is the most prescious gift you can bestow!!…Let them ask a million questions, be there for sports day, be there for them when hurty fingers need kissed, when they win, lose, have their heart broken, when the bogey-man’s about….they WILL thank you later in life!! I was lucky to have all this as a child, and still am very thankful for it today!!
    I’ve only seen pics of “L”…but a picture speaks 1000 words, and he is obviously a very happy-chap, so you’re doing a great job there…..time is money…..but money can’t buy time!!
    🙂 xx

    1. One of my favourite Chinese proverbs;

      An inch of time is an inch of gold, but you can’t buy that inch of time with an inch of gold.

      My mum always says the more time you give a child the less it will need.

      But it’s important for a child to see their parent being kind to themselves, children see truth whether its spoken or not. A parent can pretend to be confident but there actions and how they allow people to treat them will always reveal the truth. It’s not an easy thing to look within an be honest about your own life, if you can and then move to improve your life the affects are far reaching 🙂

  2. I sense some deep issues, and not prying, but yes…it is hard to protect and shield our kids from everything in life. Somethings just happen…we have no control; other things that we do are mistakes….we’re only human!! We all wish a perfect life for our kids, but it’s far from a perfect world, and hence it’s important also, that children are aware of this so as not to be disillusioned later!!….Take the negatives, and make them positive….at least we can steer our children away from the mistakes we may have made!! 🙂 xx

  3. The ‘deep issues’ you sense are all our issues, what I write hear is experienced by more than one. I see women around me who pretend to be confident and I see the affect it has on children. Yes we are only human but its time to wake up and smell the coffee if we don’t take ourselves in hand and make the immediate world around us better then it will continue to spiral toward negativity. We aren’t born with hang ups, we aren’t born to dislike ourselves, there is a problem with the world and society when our children are hanging themselves, drinking bleach, making video’s and then killing themselves… It can all be stopped, there is a geography, age group that suffers terribly, WHY, you might say we all suffer to a point, yeah ok, but why are our teenagers killing themselves, why does suicide cross all our minds at some point in life?

    There is an lack of ACCEPTANCE for the individual, there is a lack of confident/ self esteem and there is far too much fear. If we’re going to begin to make it better lets begin with our children, I think they’re worth saving, don’t you?

  4. Absolutely!…I’m sorry if my last comment came accross wrong, and hope you are not annoyed!! I have known far too many good friends, as a child, and as an adult, who have taken their lives. I have came accross it in my work, all too often….having to cut teenagers down from church spires and trees…..and it’s very sad, ….who knows what is going on in peoples minds that take this ultimate act??…..I lost a very good friend a year ago this way!!! He was about 10yrs older than me, and we worked as lifeguards together 25yrs ago. He has like a big brother-father figure to me…and all us younger lifeguards. He, and his long-time partner, were an inspiration….so happy, so connected…so wise!!!……Why did Alan then years later end it all???…….I don’t know, but I respect anyone who does, as I think no-one can put themselves in their shoes, or understand the extreme emotions & demons they are going through!! ….Sorry, I’m waffling….I know what I want to say…but can’t express it properly!!…..Basically, yes it is tragic & sad…..but look at it this way, Don McClean sums it up perfectly in his song “Vincent”……..”….and on that starry, starry night;
    when there was no hope left in sight.
    You took your life, as lovers always do!
    But I could have told you Vincent,
    this world here wasn’t beautiful enough for you!!”
    ….all we can do, is do our best for our children, and hope & pray that it’s enough!!
    🙂 xx

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