As simple as it sounds, I love kindness. Kindness in the words chosen, kindness in the tone of voice. Even in adults. Especially in adults. The adults, as far as I can see, are supposed to be the ones setting the example of “communicational kindness.” So As you can imagine, I don’t feel great about rudeness. Kid to adult rudeness, not ok. And then there’s also adult to kid rudeness. This also annoys me, makes me feel a bit… uncomfortable. Its because I’m a sensitive soul, I suppose. I prefer kindness.
At any rate, we have been attempting to break a bad habit developed by little miss “Jaguar.” (Her code name was set to be butterfly, but she kindly asked if we would change it to Jaguar instead. ) Miss Jaguar, when called, has developed the habit of always answering with an annoyed sounding, “WHAT?” What is going on? My first grader acting like a moody tween. Not good.
We started working overtime trying to get this girl to quit yelling “WHAAAAT?” but despite our best efforts and our constant calling for her just so she’ll get good practice answering with a nice little, “Yes?” or “Coming!” we are seeing minimal results.
Then about a week ago my Hubs says to me, “Soooo,… This morning… When Miss Jaguar called you as you guys where rushing off to school, you answered with a big annoyed, “What?” I think maybe that’s where she learned this from.
I was so happy he said something, because I DON’T want to ever be rude, even to my kids. Especially to my kids. It happens. For sure. But I don’t want it to be a normal pattern. Something that I am used to and ok with. I want to have the habit of kind speech. It’s funny; I was totally unaware. I’ve been working really hard at thanking my kids when they do as I’ve asked them. Working really hard to say “Por Favor” at the end of the directions I give them. “Put your shoes on. Por Favor.” Trying to round out the rough edges that could become habits of treating them like dumb kids instead of like little humans. I’m convinced that kids deserve basic respect, even if they also have to be told a hundred time to not hit/scream/eat their boogers… Eww.
And yet. Here I am yelling, “WHAT?!?!” to answer my kid, and chewing her out for yelling, “What?” to answer me. Hello, blind spot.
I’m convinced that kids learn from us. You know? “Caught not taught.” So I guess Miss Jaguar and I both have some learning to do in the responding kindly area. People say that if you’re going to start working out, eating healthy or speaking another language, you should do it with a friend, so that you can maximize your learning potential. Learn it stronger for longer. So I’m hoping that if we learn to respond with kindness as a group project…
Maybe it’ll work better and last longer.
We’re learning this together.
Gracious words are a honeycomb,
sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.
Let’s be parents who speak words that are sweet and healing.