Thursday, July 28, 2016

Catching Kindness from My Children

This The Following Interview was First Published at Collecting Moments

Tells us the kindest thing you’ve ever experienced as a parent?

As we were preparing to adopt two of our children through the foster care system, friends of ours asked us if they could go through the rigorous process to provide state approved childcare for us. After becoming approved, they watched all three of our children a few times to give us a much-needed break. Each time they cared for our children, they noticed and brought to our attention that we were too exhausted to even see our own needs.

Who/what inspires you to be kind? Explain why they/it inspires you to do so.

I’m inspired to be kind when I recognize how naturally tender and empathetic my children are if I’m sensitive and kind to them. My worst regrets in life are times I could have been listening more carefully to their behavior and words, and chose rather to ignore their emotional needs for the sake of convenience.

It’s important to be kind to others, but it’s just as important to be kind to yourself. What do you do (or plan on doing) to be kind to yourself (either as a mother, as a professional, or as a woman)?

One major improvement I need to make is to schedule the predictable breaks I desperately need to lower my stress. When I’m less stressed, I’m naturally more sensitive, friendly, generous, and considerate to those I interact with each day.

It’s often said that kindness is easier said than done. As a parent, what valuable advice can you give for showing kindness to others (especially to those who may not seem like they want or deserve it)?

Because I’m continually learning valuable lessons as a parent, it’s becoming more natural for me to see others in the same way that I see my children. My children do the best they can do with the skills they currently have in their toolbox. When they aren’t doing well, they typically need rest, food, or for me to teach them how to do better in any given struggle.

When I remind myself to give others the same grace I give my children, I am more kind. Often as a result, my children see grace modeled and learn to be grace-givers.

As a parent, what does kindness mean to you?

Being a parent, I’m constantly aware of how my actions and responses directly impact people who are developing their own worldviews. When I’m impatient with one of my children, I watch him crumble. When I respond by listening to my child’s words and behavior and patiently taking the time to meet his unique needs, I watch his confidence grow.

What lesson do you want your kids to learn about kindness?

One day, I hope my children will realize that being kind is about their own character and not about the person offending them. As they learn to seize those moments of betrayal as opportunities to give grace, I expect their hearts will smile and the world around them will be brighter as a result. 


  1. Yes! You've hit the nail on the head. So much of being able to deliver kind and gentle parenting is about looking after ourselves too. The friends who help us do that are such a blessing - yours sound AMAZING. Thanks for a great post. :)

    1. Thanks, Hannah! Those incredible friends...I miss them. They moved several hours away. During our first years as a family (when we needed help even more than we do now), they were so consistent. We have much to be grateful for.

  2. Going go click over to read, but before I do, I wanted to say YES to this: "My worst regrets in life are times I could have been listening more carefully to their behavior and words, and chose rather to ignore their emotional needs for the sake of convenience."

    1. Why is it I STILL forget this (and still regret it) at times?

      It is good to keep up front though.


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