Parent Rivalry: When Our Kids Play Nicer Than We Do

Parent Rivalry: When Our Kids Play Nicer Than We Do | The Blossoming Bump

Ever witnessed a toddler the moment they realize their little playmate isn’t on board with their way of thinking?

Perhaps they aren’t stacking something quite in the order they ‘should’ be, or they don’t see a scene play out exactly so, through their own imagination – whatever the reason, chances are said toddler may demonstrate that age old act known as ‘the epic meltdown’.

And isn’t it just glorious to watch?

Not.

As parents we work hard to rectify this kind of behavior with all kinds of tried, true, and admittedly sometimes kooky methods. Because it’s not acceptable to act this way, is it?

“It’s recently come to my attention though that while we expect, no require, our kids to play nice with others, too often we as parents don’t demonstrate those same qualities towards our peers and even our own children. And the kids notice it, I guarantee they do.”

Most of us want our little ones to learn and ultimately embrace the fact that not everyone in this world will share their perspective or their tolerances, and that’s okay. We don’t want them to have to rely on the approval or finite leadership of others, because instead they should be able to form valid opinions and insights of their own.

And they should be able to stand behind those, willing to learn and explore yes, but also be secure in their own ever developing plumb lines.

As I point this out, I’m sure a lot of you are thinking ‘Obviously.’ right about now.

It’s recently come to my attention though that while we expect, no require, our kids to play nice with others, too often we as parents don’t demonstrate those same qualities towards our peers and even our own children. And the kids notice it, I guarantee they do.

I’ve seen too many scenarios play out in kid-friendly settings where impatience reigns, intolerance is muttered and shared between adults, and little ears have certainly picked up on the social cues around them.

I’m not certain what message is delivered to the adults of tomorrow, when idealism is avidly promoted at them (with punishment ensuing should they not adhere to said ideals!), yet the adults in their life are not consistently demonstrating those qualities in every day life.

“I’ve seen too many scenarios play out in kid-friendly settings where impatience reigns, intolerance is muttered and shared between adults, and little ears have certainly picked up on the social cues around them.”

We need those demonstrations because that is what sticks within kids as they develop in this world, what helps those ideal actions become learned, and what sets the expectations of social interaction with not only their friends, but also with the strangers or the not-so-favorable people that certainly exist in the real world.

I’m fairly sure this is not the message we are hoping to actively promote to our children though, as we read books about kindness at bedtime, take them to church on a Sunday, and attempt to teach them right from wrong.

So I urge you, awesome parents that you are, live out mindfully what you hope your children will live out later on. Be kind to that lonely mom in the playground, or gentle and compassionate towards the child that wants to play with yours but doesn’t look to be the ‘right type’.

I’m sure you’ll be glad you did, for you and for your children.

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