To each other, to everyone you come into contact with.
It’s important to me to teach this to my kids.
I want to raise kind children who grow up into kind adults.
It might sound a little crazy, but being kind is more important to me than what grades they get in school or how well they perform out on a sports field.
Because we all want our kids to succeed, right? To be on the honor roll and get awards for their grades that will later translate into college scholarships. Or to outperform everyone on the playing field, get recognition, and even more college scholarships.
That college scholarship part is sounding pretty good, especially since I have three kids. And really, I want them to try their best and hopefully that does translate into doing well academically and/or athletically. It’s not something to completely dismiss; I do teach my boys to work hard. It’s something we value.
But kindness? That’s ranked way up there in what I expect from my kids.
Maybe right now, the best player on the soccer team or the child with the top scores in class are the ones who get a lot of recognition and make their parents proud.
But, think about after you got out of school: does anyone ask you for your grades? And unless you’re part of the tiny percentage of people who play sports professionally, how many baskets you made in some rec basketball league when you were a kid means exactly squat.
In general, in 10 years (or 20, depending on how old your kids are), none of them are going to be playing sports competitively or worried about grades any more. But in 10 years, what will matter is how your then-grown kids treat people.
It’s why I might be happy for one of my boys when he plays the best soccer game he’s ever played, showing that he’s really improving, but what makes my heart bursts with pride is seeing that same child stop when a child from the other team was knocked flat out on the field and helps her get up, making sure she’s okay.
That pause didn’t do anything to help the team, but it did show his heart.
When he’s all grown up, I’d rather he be the person who takes the time to show a little kindness than the one who stepped over someone going after something that doesn’t even matter.
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