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The Golden Rule

Teaching your children the importance of kindness

The Golden Rule
October 2012

As parents, there is a long list of things that we feel important to teach our kids while they are still young and under our influence. For instance, learning to tie shoes, learning to set the dinner table, and learning to care for themselves - get dressed, comb hair and brush teeth.

It's also very important to teach your children how to care for others. This, however, can be easier said than done in today's hectic world. In the midst of Parenting and juggling all the different roles we play (chauffeur, lunch maker, disciplinarian, the list goes on...) sometimes we actually forget to teach our kids the most important principle they need to know in life - how to be nice! Sometimes I wonder in today's fast-paced world of Instagram and Facebook if our children are forgetting the Golden Rule. This, in my opinion, should be the most important principle my children learn before they are grown-ups.

I recently saw a quote by John Cassis that read: "It is nice to be important, but it is more important to be nice." I loved this quote so much that I cut it out and put it on our family bulletin board as a daily reminder to me and my entire family to be kind to those who surround us.

It is easy to forget the value of kindness, especially when much of our communication nowadays occurs electronically. It can be difficult to convey appreciation, gratitude, or sentiment through a text or email.

Recently, I experienced this very thing with a friend. She texted me and I was confused by her text. She sounded angry and frustrated with me. I am not a fan of drama, so I answered her with a brief text back. I got no real response, but an "Ughh" texted back at me instead. An "Ughh" to what, I thought. To me? My text? All I felt was frustration toward my dear friend based on a few short words typed in a small bar on my phone.

What I realized was that there was no real basis to the miscommunication that was happening, just emotion between us that had been misplaced due to lack of communication and actually taking the time to be NICE before or after the information was exchanged. A quick phone call resolved the silly miscommunication between us via text.

This hiccup between us make me stop and realize that being kind and nice to those around us is vital no matter what method of communication we are using at the moment. A lot is conveyed these days in many different methods of information-sharing - texting, Twitter, Facebook, email. I hope, as parents, that we slow down enough to insert kindness, gratitude and appreciation when we communicate with others.

With that, I am extremely aware that my children are watching me and taking copious notes. Our children learn from our example. We must continue to teach them that the Golden Rule is, in fact, one of the most important life lessons they will ever learn.

Mary Susan Buhner is a Life Coach for Moms and author of "Mommy Magic: Tricks for Staying Sane in the Midst of Insanity." Visit her Web site at www.Mommy-Magic.com.

Tags: In This Issue, Parenting

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