Raising Children is an Art

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I might not be your typical kind of mother maybe because I never really dreamt of having kids, and because now that I do, I treat them like they are equal to me.

When further thinking of raising them, I always think of how I can lead by example. That is how I was taught. By no means, everything in our family is perfect either; however, an act of pure kindness can go a long way.

We have been conditioned by the society to compete. Hear me out. I am a very competitive person. It has also driven me to quite some unpleasant situations for being that way. But who really cares if your child walks before he’s one or if he’s still in diapers when his second birthday rolls around? Those are your own choices, and his, obviously. You can’t force them to do something if they’re not ready for it. If they do follow your lead to a T, they could possibly suffer certain insecurities in the future.

There are really simple ways of teaching them though. I have one word for you – example. Most of the times, our children look up to us – moms. We are typically the ones spending the most time with them, but it is not the expense of the time. It is the quality that matters. By quality, I don’t mean leading them to do something, but rather doing something you’re proud of that they can emulate. Start by saying “please” and “thank you” every time it is appropriate. Patiently stand in line, and offer seats on the bus to the elderly. Talk others up, and support them rather than gossip behind their backs. Words matter. Telling a child to “shut up” will make him tell you the same once he’s able to. Rather, explain that mommy is talking to a friend and he’ll get his turn shortly. Say things out loud that you would be proud of hearing, too. Look people in the eye when speaking to them, and invite those who are playing alone to join the group. Research even shows that the more we connect to others, the happier we are. Write letters. In today’s all consumed Internet society, will they even be able to have good penmanship?

Kindness is not something we’re born with; it is what we are taught. A recent study from Harvard has shown that kids not only rank kindness after achievement and personal happiness but moreover, see their parents put achievement before the others. While tutors might help them achieve better achievements (if you would), kindness is fostered within the home.

Only to shine some more of the light on it (as the society has lately been powered by competition), according to another study conducted at Harvard, kindness is good for your health, has beneficial brain effects, increases serotonin and oxytocin – the happy hormone that fosters bonding and connection – and also lowers blood pressure. It also fills up with dopamine, which is responsible for our mood and motivation. From this, we can conclude that kindness is a deeper and therefore more powerful reason to achieve greater success. How are you choosing to raise your kids?

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