As parents we sometimes have to be tough. We have to stand firm when it comes to safety and respect. But, are we being respectful and kind most of the time? I witnessed a little girl being forced to ride a roller coaster last weekend. It made me sick - literally hot all over and then sick to stomach. I felt so sorry for the little girl, and yet I tried to put myself in the adult's shoes. I couldn't really understand why she was being so mean to the child, but I did try to generate some empathy. I too have been so frustrated with my child's behavior at times that I did not handle the situation with as much respect as I would have liked, but I cannot imagine being that disrespectful to a child. What in that woman's life is so awful that it makes sense to her to treat a child with such disrespect? Made me think. It also made me slightly more patient when my youngest child started throwing a fit later that day.
I don't always have all the parenting answers (gasp!), but I do know this...if we want respectful, flourishing, kind young adults we must parent with kindness and respect while we model how to flourish in life. Not with perfection - just persistence! It is not our job to make everything perfect, but it is our job to help children own their own worth. Our behavior and our words need to create an environment that says to a child (or children) "you are enough." This life may be tough sometimes, but that's okay because you are enough.
Just be kind,