Kindness is something that most of us work toward showing, but sometimes it is frustrating and difficult when people are not kind to us. It can also be difficult when we are frustrated or having a bad day. One way that we can show kindness to others is by teaching kindness to our children and to other people we influence. Let me share a couple of awesome stories with you.
My daughter, Faith, has been facing some challenges at school again. She is in kindergarten and has already faced being bullied a few times now. I contacted a few people at her school who could help, and I spent an hour or so before school role playing assertively saying, “Please Stop” to the children picking on her. We also talked about turning to Jesus in those moments, and I gave her a couple of “power” bracelets to wear. These, along with a prayer, are to help her take her power back and let others know she will not tolerate being bullied.
After we did all of this, I took her to school and met with a couple of the counselors. I also spoke with her teacher. Things went well during the morning. Lunch time came along and I joined her for her kindergarten luncheon and carnival. As I was leaving, she had a meltdown and I saw at least 6 children in her class comfort her and try to make her feel better. They held her hand, patted her back, gave her hugs, and showed genuine concern toward her. It was extremely sweet and touching to see this type of kindness come from the children in her class. However, as her momma, I was upset and concerned that she had been having such a difficult time at school and it was so hard for her when I left.
As the day went on, I turned to a few people who mentor and listen to me. These people included my sister, my momma, my husband, and my best friend. All of these people encouraged me and told me I was doing a great job parenting and interceding on my children’s behalves. The counselor’s at my daughters school even told me that I did everything right. They assured me that I had done everything they would’ve suggested for me to do. This made me feel both good and helpless at the same time. It is good to know I am doing a decent job, but it is scary to think that nobody has any better ideas than what I have to help her with this dilemma. Then, the very next day, something interesting happened!
A Trip To The Grocery Store
I pray for my children all the time. However, since the incident at school, I had been praying even more for my daughter and for guidance and confirmation that I was doing everything I could for Faith (and for Jonas, my son with Autism). Then I made a trip to the grocery store to pick up a bunch of stuff I needed for my husbands 40th birthday party. A couple of different things happened at the grocery store.
The first bit of confirmation I received was from one of the check out ladies at the store. I have been shopping at this particular grocery store for years and I know this particular employee well. She has a special connection with my son, Jonas. When she first met him she told him he had adorable “eat em’ up cheeks.” He does not take to new people quickly, in most cases. He does not accept physical contact with others unless he is very comfortable with them. As soon as she talked to him and told him she loved his little cheeks, he took to her. He even let her give him a hug and a kiss on the cheek the very first day. Now, every time we drive past that store he says, “My eat em’ up cheeks friend works there. She really likes me.” It is very sweet. He wants to stop in there just to see her.
So, I was there without my son on this particular day, and the “eat em’ up cheeks” checker was there. I told her that the last couple of times we had been in she wasn’t there, and Jonas missed her. She told me that she was amazed with how well he was doing and how much progress he had made since she first met him. She told me what a wonderful job I had done interceding on his behalf, and how much she notices I go out of my way to make sure my children are taught loving kindness and respect for others. This really touched me in a time that I had been asking Jesus for confirmation.
After I finished bagging up my groceries and party supplies, I headed out the door to my van. My cart was packed so I was carrying a couple bags and pushing my cart. One of the storage containers I purchased fell off the cart. I put the bags down that I was carrying to pick up my container. A sweet teenage boy (probably 16 or 17) stopped and picked up the container for me and put it back in my cart. He then proceeded to pick up the two bags I sat on the ground and he told me he would carry them to my car for me. I told him that I thought he was extremely kind, and his act of kindness really meant a lot to me. He told me that his parents are very kind people and they have always modeled kindness and respect for others. Thus, it was very easy for him to be kind, even a world where many people are not kind, because it is what he grew up with and what he knows best.
The Amazing Feeling Of Kindness Amplified
In that simple hour at the grocery store Jesus used a couple of ordinary people to touch my life and to confirm that I am on the right track. Jesus showed me that as I show kindness, love, and caring to my children, they are picking up on it and learning how to pass it on. It is one thing for somebody to tell you that you are kind, it is completely another to know that your children show kindness and love because of what they learn from you!
I am not sure who that sweet young man or his parents are, but I want to say thank you! Not only did I experience his kindness, he shared with me that his parents are a big part of who he is and that kindness can be amplified!