Kindness: Not Just a Slogan on T-Shirts

Kindness: Not Just a Slogan on T-Shirts

If you are selling kindness on a t-shirt, you can feel free to count me out. Don’t get me wrong. It isn’t the fact that I don’t want my daughter to be kind, but I don’t think that wearing a t-shirt is going to promote any more kindness in the world. It’s been so trendy to to rock those t-shirts, yet it seems like that kindness isn’t always extended to everyone. Wearing a t-shirt will not magically alter negative behavior, nor encourage good behavior. Want to be kind? How about we try modeling it for our children.

I’m going to be blunt and say that kindness┬ástarts with us. I mean, have you ever joined a mom or parent group on Facebook and asked for advice? Hold onto your hat and wait for the judgmental comments. I have to wonder how exactly we are modeling kindness when we can’t even refrain from publicly attacking another person on Facebook. It’s always especially kind when an unsuspecting woman asks a simple question and is subsequently devoured by the “helpful” individuals in the group. Right on, ladies. Let’s keep modeling that kindness.

And how about the physical attacks? I hope that I am not alone in thinking that comments about the appearance of other children should be off limits. Well, truly the physical appearance of anyone should be off limits, but I digress. Sadly, I have heard comments like these kinds and it wasn’t only once. Should we keep rocking our kindness t-shirts as we systematically destroy the self confidence of all the children within earshot of our comments. How about we try to dismiss words like pretty, ugly, fat and skinny from our vocabulary? You can read more about that here.

And what ever happened to greeting other human beings in public? We spend hours pinning “random acts of kindness” so that we can deliver some muffins to a perfect stranger, yet we fail to say hello to the mom standing alone on the playground. Come on, people! How does that make sense? When we behave this way, we show our children very clearly that kindness only extends to the people we deem worthy. If our actions speak louder than our words, then we are screaming exclusion instead of kindness.

If we truly want to promote kindness in practice and not just as a slogan, we need to put in a little effort. We need more acts of simplicity like greeting others even if it’s just a smile. We need to be more willing to widen our circles and include others when we can. We need to speak words that build others up instead of tearing them down. And we need to understand that the behaviors we model is what our children will repeat. Be kind. And not just because it’s cool to wear the t-shirt.

 

Mom, wife, educator, and loyal friend. Passionate about all things reading and writing. Sharing parenting tips with an educator’s lens.

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1 Comment

  1. Barbara Moynihan
    November 27, 2018 / 10:47 am

    Well said! I don’t think that people realize that we are bombarded by negativity all of the time. I am a grandmother so I have been around for a while and can comment from my corner of the world. I don’t think that people set out to be unkind but for example so many people walk around oblivious to anyone around them because they are so glued to their phones or other devices. I work in NYC and people are constantly bumping into others without saying “excuse me”, and never holding doors or even being aware that someone is behind them or if a door is held for them or something is handed to them after a purchase – again no “thank you” and the list goes on. How many mother’s are just too busy checking their phones instead of giving their children the attention that is required, No wonder that so many children are rude, they are learning this from Mom and Dad who are modeling unkindness and rudeness. There is no patience for standing on lines etc. because everyone wants 100% attention to their needs 100% of the time.

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