When I wrote Just Be Kind I was sitting in a hotel room, alone. On a personal retreat in our nation’s capitol, I left my children and husband for only the second time ever — the first that my children can remember, in fact.
When I wrote it, I meant it. I mean it everyday but like other things that are hard I sometimes let this one slide. It took a weekend away for me to remember.
Parenting is hard. We get angry. We yell. We stomp out of rooms or slam pots and pans when we feel we aren’t being effective.
Yes. It’s true.
I am thrilled to know that so many Mamas are finding the mantra to be the inspiration they need to get through a hard day and practice kindness. And aren’t most days hard?
By now, you’ve realized I am not a parenting expert. Parenting experts don’t tell you to be kind.
They tell you to be consistent. Firm.
They tell you all the things you’re doing wrong.
They tell you quick tips that you are sure to get your child behaving better.
And then there I go telling you to Just Be Kind.
When, though? When should I be kind?
When is kindness better than being right?
When is kindness better than anger?
When is kindness the answer?
Does this mean we won’t ever get mad at someone in our family? No way. We’re human beings.
Does this mean we don’t set limits and require our children to do chores? Nope.
Does this mean we don’t have expectations? That’s ridiculous.
Does this mean our children treat us like garbage? Gosh, I hope not!
But if we’re practicing true kindness in our own life then we must be willing to make changes. Things need to shift. We need to mellow out a bit. We need to promote kindness over righteousness.
I am rarely wrong but in this house, with my children, I’m more wrong than ever.
But this intentional, mindful and thoughtful parenting that we’re doing here at Awesomely Awake — it’s really big stuff. It’s changing the world — one family at a time. It’s breaking cycles. It’s transforming children’s lives. It’s creating happy parents.
So, to the mom leading her crying 6-year-old daughter by the neck to go to some restaurant at 8 p.m. the other night, choose kindness. Take a breather. Hug your child. Explain to her what is making you so darn mad.
Just Be Kind. You can be really angry and still be really kind.
So when should you be a kind parent?
As much as possible.
But why? Why should I be kind when my kid is so dreadful?
I am going to tell you that tomorrow.