Kids are funny little creatures, aren’t they? You can ask them to pick up their shoes, or put clothes on what seems like 57 times in an hour, and they don’t listen.
But when it comes to the smallest observations, they’re all over it.
Sometimes I feel like God uses kids to teach us how to be kind and love others. Of course, any mom would appreciate it if she didn’t sound like a broken record everyday, but some of the little acts of kindness our kiddos teach us stay in our hearts forever.
That was the case for this sweet mama a few months back who recently shared her story with Love What Matters. She and her husband were discussing their finances—a stressful topic for anyone struggling to make ends meet. Little did they know, their four-and-a-half year-old son was taking note.
Later on in the week, they were out running errands as a family:
“I was tired and made a comment to my husband about how I could use a coffee. He reminded me that coffee just isn’t in our budget…and the conversation ended there.”
“It was then that my son asked me for my Starbucks card (something that very rarely has a balance, but is kept safely in my wallet around my birthday and the holidays when I can reload it with gift cards). He likes playing with old gift cards and reward cards, so I passed it back to him.”
About a minute later, her son got her attention again—this time though, he didn’t have a question, but a gift.
‘What is it, honey?’
‘This is for you. I put dollars on your coffee card for you.’
I turn around. He hands me my Starbucks card, neatly wrapped inside a $5 bill he must have had in his wallet. He, being the literal child that he is, put $5 ON my card for me to buy a coffee.”
This mama was blown away by the kindness of her son, and reminded that “monkey-see-monkey-do.” Our kiddos are always watching and learning, even when it seems like our words are going in one ear and out the other. She encourages all parents with this:
“Take a moment to appreciate how beautifully your children’s minds work. When my husband told me we ‘can’t put money on the card,’ my son took that quite literally…so he did it for me. I will never in my life drink a better cup of coffee than I did that afternoon.
Then, more importantly, take another moment to realize that teaching kindness to children is such a worthwhile feat. This is the same little boy who has told me in the past he wants to give ‘all of his dollars to the man that lives on the sidewalk,’ and that he wants to make a lot of money when he grows up ‘so he can give his dollars to other kids that don’t have mommies or daddies.’
She ends by saying:
When you think they aren’t listening, they are. When you think you’ve said it 1,000 times but it hasn’t sunk in…it has.
Teach your kids kindness and they will pour it into the world. They, and all of the lives your children will change, deserve it.”