Believe in Christ or not, most people agree that it is important to respect others. I think a majority would even go as far as to say that it is important to treat other people nicely, even when they are not always so nice to us. So why is this so hard for us and how do we help kids learn it?
Want the truth? Kids get it. They really do. Somehow deep inside is a knowledge that is longing to be tapped into. Sometimes we need little reminders ourselves - like when the car in front of me cuts me off. If we are not practicing kindness when we're angry, how can we expect our children to do it? They need us to lead by example. They also need us to tell them why!
I have a 2.5 year old and a 4 year old. "Why" is not just a word in our house, it is THE word in our house. We hear it sometimes 100 times a day (or more - I'm not even joking). Kids want to know how to be good citizens. They desire to get along with other people. They have a picture of the world that we don't understand anymore. We tend to push our image of the world onto them and have a hard time figuring out why they don't fit into our world "box". They have something better than we do in a lot of ways. Still, for some reason it's us molding and shaping them and we often forget to let them shape us.
Today we had a "situation" in our house. I was so blessed to be able to see how my boys really get it. They really are learning to "love at all times". One boy broke something of value to the other. The one with the broken item brought it to me and told me that his brother had broken it and he was mad at him. As we talked about his feelings (mad and sad), he told me that he still loved his brother, even though he had broken this item.
We went together to confront brother kindly. My boy said to his brother, "I'm sad that you broke this, but I love you." He SAID it, didn't yell it or cry it. My sweet son acted in a way that honored Christ. He gets it, even when I don't. I was very proud of him this morning.
His brother, when asked how he could make it better, answered, "I can go poop." Yeah, so we have some work to do there - but he did apologize. They made up and mommy fixed the broken object.
Lord, let me be like my kids. Quick to forgive and quicker to love.
What have you learned from your kids this week?