Kindness inspires kindness.
I really like the whole concept of random acts of kindness. They are another way for us to create our own little miracles—for others and ourselves. If you’ve never performed one before, I urge you to try it. You’ll make someone else feel good—and find that it does the same for you. And then some.
If you perform random acts of kindness in the presence of your child, well, that’s a double jackpot. Remember, kids are sponges. There’s no better lesson than being a good example. Hold the door open for someone. After recycling your bottles and cans, give the cash receipt to the homeless person who’s also cashing in his returnables. If you have leftover tickets from the county fair, look around for a large family in the ticket line and give them yours.
No need to make a big deal about it. Eventually, you may see the same behavior in your child. And when that happens, you’ve just created yet another phenomenon.
As parents, we’re forever prompting our kids – “What do you say to the nice lady?” “What’s the magic word?” “Don’t forget to thank his parents for inviting you over…” “Did I hear you say excuse me?” – and, if you’re like me, you’re hoping and praying that all this nagging pays off; That when you’re not around, your son or daughter remembers his or her manners and does you proud.
And this goes for any kid – on the spectrum or not.
In the quiet hours my mind finds lots to worry about. Will my son find a girlfriend someday? Will he be a gentleman and a gentle man with her? When he’s out with friends will he still respect his elders? Will he stop to hold the door open for a man with a cane or a woman with a stroller?
Well, yesterday in the market, my son put at least one of my worries to rest. A woman was pulling an ice cream container out of the freezer case and it slipped out of her hands. Before I could utter a word he swooped in and picked it up for her and kept on walking. Be still my heart.
I praised him for his act of kindness and he simply shrugged and said, “Well, I didn’t want her to have to bend down to get it.”
I’m a happy and proud mom. Maybe I don’t need to nag so much anymore.