Who says: "The older the wiser"? I may be wrong, but lately, the number of acts of kindness I have been seeing from children far outweighs what I've been seeing from adults. In fact, I think the saying should be: "The older the more self indulgent". But, that's another topic all together. Ok, now I have a whole bunch of enemies I didn't have before writing this! But wait, stay with me on this. I'm not just getting down on us older folks for no reason. Honestly, there is reason. There is purpose to my rant. You see, I heard two stories last week about school age children who chose to forgo typical birthday presents in order to receive donations for a charity of their choice. One, in fact, was a child who had visited an orphanage overseas and felt the inequity between his comfortable North American life and his peers in this other country. The other was a child who saw a television ad to help children in foreign countries and was shocked at the portrayal of these children's lives. In both of these cases, no one instructed the children in their acts of kindness. It was organic. They just wanted to make things a little better for someone else. 

I suppose we tend to have softer hearts for children. Perhaps because we know that children are vulnerable and are at the whim of their caregivers, whereas we expect more from adults. We expect adults to take charge, be responsible and care for those who are vulnerable. But how are adults supposed to do that if they weren't given the nurturing that they needed themselves as children? In that case, these adults may be actually operating through their child selves. Just like our younger role models, perhaps we should offer a little compassion to our adult peers. Perhaps with a little bit of help, things can be a little better for them as well. 

Maybe we should let our children be the teachers and we should be the students, at times. Children tend to have an honesty that is not convoluted by cynicism, prejudice, or expectation. They are far more pure with their feelings and communicate these feelings through their behaviour. This is an important concept for parents to believe. For if you do, you will only have to go as far as paying attention to your child's behaviour to know what is going on with him/her. Then, add compassion to the mixture and you may find yourself having profound and rewarding parenting experiences.

To learn more about rewarding parenting experiences, check out The Adoption Source parenting workshops called Changing Your Lenses: What you can do differently so your child will behave differently. 
When in doubt, choose kindness.