Children watch our every move. They watch how we get excited with happiness and will always remember how we explode with anger, and more importantly, how fast we can erupt like a seasoned volcano. Sometimes we forget that we are our children’s first role models, and there is a possibility that their ill behavior – stomping a foot, yelling, slapping others - is a reflection of what they may have witnessed from you at your not-so-finest hours. But what about when they see you spread joy in others? What are the benefits of them watching you help your fellow man?
Compassion, kindness, empathy, love, understanding how people feel, better communication, a desire to help others, and being generous, are just some of the lovely traits that children can receive by watching the ones they love the most help other people, and helping them at not always in a time of need.
I’m originally from the deep south, Savannah, Georgia, and on many occasions I saw my mother, after an exhausting day at work, dinner, dishes, helping three children with homework and putting to bed my grandmother who was partially paralyzed from a stroke, stay up late to make soup for an ill neighbor, or a plate of fudge for the new family on the block, or make a platter of sandwiches for a family waiting in the hospital waiting room for their loved one to get well.
She thought it was just the right thing to do, and not once thought about what she was teaching her children. We learned very early that helping others was just a “natural” thing to do. My daughters have now watched me make meals for ill neighbors, share extra loaves of fresh baked bread, make cookies for our doctor’s staff, help the elderly out of their car in the grocery store parking lot, and the list continues. And I have witnessed many giving moments from my children, like my oldest daughter bake cookies for a new family in our neighborhood, and my youngest daughter unload a cart of items for an elderly person at the store.
As PeTunia Puddlesworth says in her and Harry Pierre’s first DVD The Beginning , “Be kind to others because then they will be kind to others… and then they will be kind to others… and then they will be kind to others, because kindness spreads!”
Here are a few ways that will allow your children to see you help others:
* Assist an elderly person out of the car.
* Ask an elderly person or a pregnant woman when passing by, “May we help you put these groceries in the car?”
* Bake or make something tasty for your neighbors, and not just in time of need.
* Walk a few steps slower when you see a parent with children putting grocery items in their car, and then say those six magic words, "We’ll take the cart for you.” Everyone, with or without children, appreciates the kindness.
* Help out for a few hours at a soup kitchen.
* Ask the waitress/waiter at a restaurant, “We are going by this area and are giving our leftovers to one of the homeless there, do you happen to have any items in the back we can include in our bag?”
* Always say when needed, “Excuse me, thank you, please, or I’m so grateful.”
When your children are with you and they see you help others, know that you are not just helping others, you are helping to create beautiful, compassionate and giving beings.
We, the creators of Harry Pierre & PeTunia, value parents input and welcome you to share how you help others. We are parents too, and fully understand that parenting can be a challenge, but just know that when you climb that mountain called “raising children” – the view is beautiful!