Yesterday Ann and I had a conversation (during her last chemo infusion) about how important it is to remember that children and youth’s eyes are watching us to see how we handle different diversities of problems. In Ann’s case this person is a fourteen-year-old neighbor…a sweet girl…who likes to ‘hang’ with Ann and is very involved and curious about her cancer treatments.
Ann has begun to realize just how important it is to demonstrate a positive attitude throughout her treatments and answer her young neighbor’s questions frankly and honestly…treating her like a young adult.
“Watching and modeling human behavior starts in infants as young as one day old behavioral scientists have discovered. Immediately upon birth, babies begin to reflect the emotional states of people around them thanks to “mirror neurons.”
This begins a cycle whereby positive emotions and interactions beget more positive energy. Children who feel safe, secure and loved, early in life, grow to be more sensitive and empathetic to others’ emotional needs. Let’s model kindness and empathy from day one.” (Resource: Editor’s Note/KindSpring)
As a teacher it was always easy to pick out the young students in my classes who felt compassion and kindness to their peers (coming from loving happy homes) while observing other students, perhaps as a result of not feeling loved enough or accepted in a family, acting out and intimidating others at school simply because they could. Bullying is a search for power as a substitute for love …not received when little.
Planting those first seeds of love within a newborn is critical in their overall perception of themselves and their place in the world.
When we do see young children demonstrating compassion for other children…adults need to nourish these observations with praise and encouragement.
Kindness Observed: Kindspring.org
“I spotted a small child, maybe 6, who noticed another child, who looked maybe 3, on the playground when that little fellow dropped his cupcake.
The older one walked across the entire playground and tried to help the little guy pick up the cupcake. The cutest and kindest thing he did was offer the sad little fella his own sleeve to wipe his tears.
A mom came over pretty quickly and thanked the older boy, and together they cleaned up the dropped cupcake. When the mom and little one walked away hand in hand, the little boy turned around and waved to the older child, who waved back.
The spontaneous act of kindness on that older child’s part, and the simple gratitude shown by the little one was pure and beautiful. It was a gift to me…for having caught that magic moment. I’m grateful for seeing it.”
At a time when we hear such terrifying examples of young bullies intimidating children and youth at schools and on the internet…parents live in fear of this happening to their child.
So any times we have an opportunity to teach, watch, or witness something pure and kind happening between children and youth. When this happens we need to, not only recognize it, but applaud it and thank the children and parents for the great job they have done with their families.
So until tomorrow….
- Happiness is more contagious than sadness, so try to surround yourself with happy people. However, don’t avoid people who are sad, we all need support sometimes and giving them love might help them recover faster.
- Imitate happy and positive people, do what they do. Practice sports and smile more (even if you don’t feel like it, you will later feel better). Keep a healthy self-esteem and stop thinking negatively.
“Today is my favorite day” Winnie the Pooh