I have often mentioned The Daily Groove…and for good reason! The little snippets of wisdom always offer an alternative view to mainstream parenting. And always a lovely one at that. Here is what was on offer today…
The Trickle-Down Theory of Human Kindness
In peaceful “primitive” cultures, kindness is sustained from generation to generation by a kind of “trickle-down” effect. At its core is the commonly held value of serving and delighting younger people, especially babies.
Adults appreciate the delight of adolescents,
.. who delight in the joy of prepubescents,
…. who enjoy entertaining younger children,
…… who love to carry babies and play with toddlers.
The elegance of this top-down, pleasure-oriented value system is that the youngest people receive the most (and give the least) at the developmental stage when they’re naturally narcissistic, while those who give more are more adept at deriving joy from giving.
Adults in our culture often *fear* adolescents,
.. who call prepubescents “dweebs,”
…. who disparagingly call younger children “babies,”
…… who compete with real babies for attention.
When your children behave unkindly, remember that you can’t enforce authentic kindness. Instead, let it trickle down by *modeling* unconditional generosity. Using your creativity, find a way to serve and delight both “aggressor” and “victim” …and yourself, too!
I often try to perform random acts of kindness for my children. I know this can be seen in our culture as the kids being lazy, or us doing too much for them which will mean they grow into useless, selfish adults .
I tend to work on the belief that children are people too, just extra special ones. So if I know they are tired, unhappy, worried or just busy doing something I will often make them some food I know they love and take it to them. Or offer to help them with something, or do a job for them. Or make myself available to chat, have a hug, read to them… Just as I would hope to be treated.
Our kids are all extremely capable with domestic tasks, when they need to be. I ask them to help out, they have regular jobs to do. My thinking is that they are part of the family too.
I also feel very appreciated by them when I do a kindness for them. They really understand that I am being kind, not just being a slave.
(OK, at times I may point it out to them…).
Kindness is a value I would love my children to have.
Modelling this seems like the easiest and quickest way to help them experience it, know it and hopefully act with it themselves.
I feel as though our children can be very kind.
They seem to have empathy and can show compassion.
Like Ghandi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world”
Beautiful bumper stickers created and given away by Lauren Fisher