Be Kind, But Don’t Expect the Same From Others

Nothing will teach you more about yourself than seeing your child interact with others. Behavior is learned.

Over the last few weeks I’ve seen my daughter go through some of her first negative interactions with other children. We’ve all been through it. As children, we want everyone to like us and we want to be friends with everyone.

When I was little I wanted everyone to like me. I wanted everyone to be nice. I wanted to be included. Unfortunately, life isn’t fair, not everyone will like you, and no one has to be nice.

I’ve witnessed her sitting in the front yard crying because the neighbor kids are outside playing and ignoring her yelling for them to come over. I’ve witnessed her at activites ask to play with someone and the other child says no or flat out ignores her. I’ve even seen adults brush her off.

My initial reaction is to step in and say something to their parents or correct the child. I want to protect and defend her but I choose not to.

The world is not fair, the world is not nice, and people aren’t always your friend. Instead, I’ve tried to teach her to be confident on her own. Don’t worry about the opinions of others. Treat people how you want to be treated and never let someone else’s opinion of you define you. Don’t become a people pleaser like your mother and base your opinion of yourself on how many people like you or how people treat you. Don’t seek any and all attention for the sake of attention.

Be kind. Be loyal. Be confident.

Put your energy into people who do the same for you.

Reminder for mom’s who want to step in: not everyone loves your child like you do. Don’t force friendships, instead teach your child to include others and be kind. Don’t let your children feel like a victim in need of attention, they don’t need everyone’s approval. They need love from you and to be taught how to navigate through healthy relationships and how to seek positive attention and avoid negative.

-Lindsay

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