Kindness is Taught at Home




The above picture is of my 2-year-old granddaughter cleaning a “boo boo” on her dog. She makes sympathetic eye contact with LuLu, calmly positions her nose with her hand, and gently wipes it with a sterile wipe. When she tries to put a band-aid on it, she wonders why it doesn’t stick on the fur like it sticks on her skin, but tries her best to get it to stay. After the dog’s medical care has been completed, she plants a light kiss on the “boo boo”, satisfied at a job well done.

Kindness is a trait best taught at home. Children learn to accept others based on how their parents accept others. If dad complains about “crazy Uncle Joe” and everyone in the family avoids Uncle Joe, they learn to be fearful of people with mental illness. If they see a person in a wheelchair while out on a walk, and their parents cross the street to be on the other side so they don’t have to walk near the wheelchair, it is inherently learned that they should be cautious of such people. Instead, they should walk right up to the person, making eye contact and smiling, commenting on what a great day it is to be out for a walk!

It is only through my fortunate life experience with a brother with multiple disabilities that my children have learned that people like “Uncle Curtis” are different than us, and therefore need understanding and acceptance. Any of them were comfortable with offering a guiding arm to sturdy and guide him to the most comfortable chair in the house and rush off to get him his treasured glass of Diet Coke. Sitting next to him during a meal, they would unabashedly take his plate to cut the food up into tiny pieces for him to be able to swallow. If they couldn’t understand what he was saying, they’d give him a pen and paper to write it down, (although it invariably said “Dite Cook” in his unsteady handwriting.)

A child living with compassion will not be a bully, and hopefully stand up for anyone being bullied. Living with compassion has stayed with my children into their adulthood, and they are now raising their own children to be caring and thoughtful of others, as evidence by my young granddaughter caring for her dog. What a beautiful life!


To read more about our adventures as a family, please read my book, The Apple Tree: Raising 5 Kids with Disabilities and Remaining Sane through Barnes and Noble or Amazon.


Comments on: "Kindness is Taught at Home" (15)

  1. How very sweet

  2. Lovely post… Today’s world needs more kindness and compassion. Teaching children these traits at a young age is as important as teaching them how to brush their teeth.

    Thanks for always writing such poignant articles.

  3. Wonderful personal examples. Thank you for sharing!

  4. More people would have benefitted from kindness taught at home. Maybe then there would be more kindness towards others and fewer wars

  5. deaconmike51907 said:

    Reblogged this on News With a Catholic View.

  6. I love this! So very true–and precious!

  7. And what a wonderfully loving dog she has as a patient. Your family is blessed because you always see the blessings as outweighing the problems. It is a valuable lesson for all of us. Thank you.

  8. Aw…… absolutely sweet and spot on right….. ❤

  9. This is so very true! I can think of several examples of my thoughts being linked to observing my parent’s behavior.

  10. Reblogged this on Handicap and commented:
    Isn’t this so true. There have been many times in my life when people have walked on the opposite side of the street. Just because I have a chair many people think I am deaf. Some people think they have to speak loudly and they yell in my ear. What they don’t realize is that I am intelligent, as well as many others with disabilities.

  11. Such a sweet post. Thank you and I agree completely.

  12. […] The blogs I read are quilting, faith, and other things I find interesting. This morning I read Kindness is Taught at Home, then The Bloggess always has something interesting to say, and then I read this blog. The trend I […]

  13. Excellent as always. I have included both your blog address and your book in talks I’ve given to women’s groups. Hope they took advantage of the info. You touch lives in a wonderful way.

  14. Sounds like you have a wonderful nurse in the making or perhaps a young doctor! Love the whole message in your post… love,empathy and acceptance we definitely need more of that today! 😊

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