I think I’m not alone when I say, it’s very important to foster the good hearted and kind gestures our children want to do.
For instance, one time, Liam would open the car door for me and shut it when I got out. I let him do it because it was teaching him to respect women and to be a gentleman.
My friend who lived across the road, one of her son’s did the whole opening the car door for me one day, too. And I thanked him for being so thoughtful and kind. When I told his mother though, she had to question if I was sure it was her son! He’d never done it before.
If I’d waved him off, maybe he wouldn’t have learnt it was a polite and thoughtful thing to do, encouraging an attitude of respecting women. I was happy to help plant a seed of growth in that direction.
And then there is this adorable, heart-warming little adult-in-the-making of mine.
Six year-old Liam.
He spent hours putting together a gift for each of our neighbours on either side. Not just any gift. Handmade ones. A lot of time and thought and effort went into creating them.
This event of course called for a photo to capture this moment in time.
As much as I felt awkward going to the next-doors, I couldn’t quash this little man’s spirit of generosity.
Sooooo, to the next-doors we went.
On one side lived an elderly couple, and on the other side lived a large family of roughly nine children. Quite a difference! Looking back, I realised, it was much like a time-line of life – from baby to old age. What are the chances of that? Interesting.
Liam decided to visit the old couple next door first.
Knock, knock, knock.
The lady came to the door.
When I told her that Liam had made them a gift, she was so surprised and grateful. She invited her in. He had made her day. She was smiling and talking to him like he was one of her grandchildren. For about an hour, we chatted over a cup of coffee, laughing, and getting to know each other better. We’d only ever spoken briefly over the fence or out the front. So, it was nice for it to grow into a friendship.
Then it was over to the other next-door and ring the bell.
We knew this family a little bit better as one of her children was a friend of Liam’s at school, and sometimes we’d talk at pick-up time, or out the front when we saw each other on the odd occasion. Liam, on the other hand, visited his friend quite often.
As you can imagine, they were a very busy family.
That’s when I found out, this particular gift was actually for his friend, which was wonderful to see him being such a great friend.
While Liam played with his friend, the mother and I chatted away over anything and everything for a couple of hours. It was actually the first time I’d had gone over to their place, so it was nice to cross over into a different level of friendship, better knowing each other.
Well, eventually, I had to go home. Liam didn’t want to leave and was welcomed to stay for longer.
Walking in the door of home (the piggy in the middle) I was glad I hadn’t fobbed Liam’s kind heart off just because I felt uncomfortable. I taught my beautiful son, and myself some important and valuable things.
- To be generous and think of others
- That a good thing can be ruined by allowing feelings to get in the way
- How to be a good friend
- It’s a way of making new friends
- We should get to know our neighbours more
- A way of being social and getting out of the house
- Kids are smarter than we give them credit for
- Children make good teachers of adults
- Fostering Liam’s kindness, thoughtfulness and generosity is just as important as feeding him.
I’m not sure about other people, but doing this, approaching the neighbours to deliver Liam’s gifts, was such a humbling thing to do, and rewarding. I was, and still am, a profoundly proud mother of all my boys.
Remember, everything we do and say is teaching our kid’s something, positive or negative, about you and the world. Water their hearts and attitudes because they become their character as adults.
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Allison Rose Clark