A lot of parents have blinders when it comes to their children. "My child wouldn't do that." "They know better." I have news for these parents, your kids are most likely doing these things you think they wouldn't do. Even though I know my kids are good, I also know they screw up and make poor choices sometimes. I will say my kids know better than to do something, but I'll also follow it up. I won't just say my kid knows she's not allowed to do this or that on her phone and then not check. I'm constantly checking their phones. I mean daily. We have parental controls and I can block things, and have blocked things. If they are abusing their phones, they get them taken away. That, they know, so when I say they know better, they do because they've learned there are consequences. Too many parents say they know better, but never follow up on it or have no consequences. I have 100% said that my kids should know better. Should being the key word. I know that even though they should know better, they can screw up. If you are a person who never screws up, then you're lying to yourself. We all do things we should know better than to do. It happens. But, even in adulthood, there are consequences. I know better than to eat too much cheesecake. My consequence, my stomach is a complete mess. Should I have known better, yup. I made the choice and I deal with the consequences. My daughter chooses to ride her bike where she's not allowed, even though she should know better, she loses being able to ride her bike with friends for a month. You can screw up and still be a good person.
I'm not so blind to know that my kids can make poor choices sometimes or exclude kids they don't like, but I also know they try to be polite about it until the point of breaking. For some reason, we live in a world where "everybody should be friends". Not true at all. Everyone should be kind, but not everyone gets along. In fact, if someone is rude or mean to you, you should not be their friend. I'll say it again, when someone constantly treats you badly, you should not be there friend. This goes for old and young people alike. It is perfectly OK to tell someone you don't want to play with them at the moment, as long as you're polite about it. We need to stop telling our kids to include everyone and rephrase it to treat everyone with kindness. There are people out there who are genuinely not good people and we should not force our children to be friends with those people. Not everyone gets along, and that's OK, but we still need to be polite. For the most part, my children do this. They know I'm not going to be mad if they don't want to be friends with someone. They also know that they have to at least try with someone because they may end up finding the person isn't that bad.
Aside from that sort of thing, my kids have huge hearts. The include others when no one else will. They will stand up for those who can't stand up for themselves, even if it's against their friends. They notice those around them and are polite. They both hold doors open for others and offer to give up their seats places. Somewhere along the line, those traits have gone by the wayside in most people. Most people can't get take a moment to look around and notice others in need. My kids stop, and actually take time with people. The other day, we went somewhere and my kids listened, and I mean actually listened, to someone. Not only did they listen to him, but they interacted in such a way that, judging by his reaction, most people don't. When we left, the man had tears in his eyes and a huge smile on his face. I'm not sure what was going on in his life, but my kids were just what he needed in that moment, and I couldn't be more proud of them!
It costs nothing to be nice and only takes a few moments. My children truly get this. No matter how much of a hurry we are in, they are polite and kind. Of course they have their moments, we all do, but I also know that a lot of parents question whether their kids are kind when they aren't around. I don't. Everyone who knows my kids and has been around them when I have not, tells me how kind and polite they are. I'm proud of my kids and the people they are becoming.