RANT- Teach your kids…tomorrow might be too late

MamaBear is feeling pretty meh right now.

People just always seem to want to take the lazy way out, y'know?

Perhaps it's just that I'm the middle of my cycle.  Who knows?

Anywhos, I had a discussion with a good friend of mine a few days ago, and was told the following.

"My son has a friend who has been helping him out bunches, but he never says thank you to that friend.  He tell me, he's too embarrassed or that he'll do it tomorrow.  It really bothers me, but you know, it's kids, right?"

Yep.

It's kids alright, and the rotten way their parents have raised them.

You know, it's something I've just never understood.

When your friends go out of their way to help you…common courtesy is to acknowledge that and say, "Thank you."

Not ignore it.

Sure, you might appreciate it, you might be grateful for it…but if you choose to say not a word, all you're doing is telling your friend, "You're not worth my time.  I don't care what you've done for me."

After all, we *all* have failed mind-reading 101.

And lately it seems, big huge bunches of us have decided to always take the lazy way out, and just accept kindness as our due.

Honestly….that's lousy with a capital L.

Nobody tells your kids' friends to look out for your kid…sometimes, their friends will be mature enough to recognize that:

"Hey!  Your child needs some help and encouragement!"

and just plain *be there* for your kid.

  • And if your kid chooses to say nothing in return, that just shows their friend their value.

Which makes it much *less* likely that the next time your child is in need, her friend will step up to the plate once again.

You see…

  • Kindness rocks.
  • Friendship rocks.
  • Love rocks.

But none of the above are self-sufficient (unless you're beyond spiritually advanced…and will keep on giving to your friends with no expectations of any reactions).

Thus, the next time your kid tells you that someone really helped her….do her the following favor.

Follow up and *make sure* she thanks them for caring.

It's a life skill that will benefit her for years to come.

Parent powerfully,

— MamaBear

Empathy Requires Compassion

Compassion

Here's something that's on MamaBear's mind this morning.

You got kids?

Great!

You got kids who have to interact with the world?

Mmmmhmmm.

Well, consider this.

One of the biggest skills that MamaBear teaches her cubs is to walk in others' shoes before slamming on the "OMG you're an utter idjut!" hat to their friends.

Y'know?

So often, she'll MamaBear hears about how this kids' friend was selfish or that kids' friend was clueless or the other kids' friend is just plain stupid.

And the first thing she does is say,

"Woah!  Have you considered all of the ghosts, baggage and other issues that might be assailing that person?"

For some strange reason, children were *not* born with empathy.

Hell, many adults fail dismally in that department too!

It's so easy for a parent to empathize with the child like so:

"You're completely right!  You're the injured party!  That kid is worthless beyond belief, you're 100% correct."

And y'know, that just plain frosts MamaBear's petunias….*big time*.

We're talking bigger than a breadbox, bigger than The Donald's ego, bigger than MamaBear's heart.

Pretty huge-like indeed.

See, the sad fact is, the world does *not* revolve around your child.

It doesn't even revolve around MamaBear, alas.

Instead, your kid needs to embrace that perhaps there are underlying issues that cause the strife in the first place.

  • Maybe the kids' parents are going through a divorce.
  • Maybe the kid just received a 79 on his Math test that he was sure he aced.
  • Maybe the kid is learning-disabled, and doesn't know how to handle friendship.
  • Maybe the kid experienced something that caused ghosts from November and February to rear up their heads again.

See what MamaBear means?

When your child comes to you and complains about someone, sure, their points are entirely valid.  Be sure your child recognizes you feel that way.

But next….take the time to offer up just *why* the problem might have occurred.  In other words…

Encourage your child to think on the "what if's?".

  • "What if…the kid took got hurt from your actions because said actions reminded them of a painful time in the past?
  • What if…the kid's family life is lousy, and it all just got to her?
  • What if…the kid has no idea that you're feeling this way, and it's all a big misunderstanding?

It's very easy for children to focus on how they themselves are hurting.  Actually, it's human nature…most people will look out for number one before anyone else.

But…you need to teach your children compassion as well.

They do *not* have to agree with the kids' actions….but perhaps viewing their situation with compassion might help them *understand* it better as well.

And that, in turn, will help them develop stronger and longer-lasting bonds of friendship to boot.

Parent well,

MamaBear