A Lesson in Kindness

Every time my kids snap at each other, I flinch. When I’m met with some sass, or they fling a retort back my way with expert ease, I realize that they learned that behavior from someone, more specifically, me.

There is no better mirror than your own children.  And I’ll be the first to admit that patience isn’t always my virtue-maybe even less as the years go on. I find myself being short with them, or easily getting annoyed. So they’re picking up on this and dishing it back to me and to each other.

My husband and I sat down last week to discuss what was happening. We accepted that the way we’ve been communicating to our children hasn’t been the best example. Between long hours at work, heavy demands of the home, and just general daily tasks, our temperament with our kids hasn’t been great. They annoy us easily, and so snapping at them is our go-to.

But if we want them to change, we have to change first.

It means that maybe we don’t get as many errands done in a day.

It means that work will have to wait sometimes.

It means we have to take a deep breath and consider our tone of voice and our word choices before we reply to them.

It also means communicating to them why we need more tolerance on their end. It’s a two-way street after all.

We’ve been working on our kindness this month, and I’ll report back on the progress. Some days are definitely harder than others, and sometimes I ask myself why I didn’t do this sooner. It applies to so many relationships in life.

I truly believe that the more comfortable we become with people, the less patience we have with them: co-workers, family, friends. It is with these people that we have to give extra care to how we speak.

Words matter.

Tone matters.

Body language matters.

And the more kindness we give, the more it seems we can receive.

 

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About Maia Rodriguez

"Military Mom" Maia Rodriguez was born in Cleveland, Ohio, but that was about twenty homes ago. After graduating from Syracuse University with a BFA in Musical Theater, she traveled just about everywhere in the country, lived in a green turtle-like tent for 6 months, toured and slept in the back of her van and even worked in Japan for a year. Then she met her husband who tamed her (ha!) and they embarked together on the adventure of parenthood in southern California where she worked as a professional pirate. Now, two children later, the family currently resides in VIrginia, where she sings for the US Navy as a vocalist. When she’s not mothering, she’s writing music for "Evernight," singing and writing for the Baby Bullet Blog.

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