Kindness In Relationships

Let’s take a look at kindness as it takes place between people we love so much, as well as the ones we don’t always love so much.

Let’s take a look at kindness as it takes place between people we love so much, as well as the ones we don’t always love so much.

We’ll talk about:

– two cranky kids,

– a difficult, exhausting child,

– and an annoying spouse to round out our discussion.

 

Sounds fun right?

 

Well, I think you’ll enjoy it as well as discover some helpful tips along the way for how to practically apply kindness to each of these situations.

 

Don’t worry, it’s going to be easier than you think.

Situation #1:The two loud, rambunctious, ornery, grouchy whiny kids fighting with each other.

 

Perhaps they say things like, “I did not, you did too, well you did first, well you were just being mean, that’s because you were being a stupid head, well you just never want to me to win, well you just never want to play my way… “

 

Do you hear them accusing each other of unkind intentions?

 

Kindness Key #1: Declaring they were being mean is assigning motive.  Talk about what they did, not what you think they were thinking when they did it.

When our children accuse someone of being mean, we remind them to talk about facts and try again.

 

Situation 2: The kid you think is determined to make your life miserable.
When Jefferson was younger I wasn’t sure both of use were going to make it.
He was a disaster of a little one.

It was easy to think things like, “He’s determined to make my life miserable, just a trouble maker, he knows exactly what he’s doing and he’s deceitful, a liar, and undisciplined, he just like to tear things up.”

 

Others were quick to judge as well, “You obviously haven’t been strict enough with his discipline, he’s determined to destroy this place!”

Kindness Key #2: Believe the best of others. Get curious.  I wonder what he could be thinking about that causes him to decide this is a good idea.

What if he is trying his best?  I try my best and fail, make mistakes, hurt others.

What else could be the story here? I have good intentions sometimes and create a disaster.

Kindness is recognizing the difference between mischief and curiosity.  That doesn’t mean that he never had consequences, but it was easier to continue to want to let him try again when I choose to believe the best, instead of want to lock him in an indestructible cage forever.

 

Situation #3: The annoying spouse.

It’s easy to assuming judgment, especially when we feel like we are failing anyway:
“He is pointing out I stink at doing the laundry.” “He can’t just get up and eat, he’s got to make it really obvious that I haven’t cleaned up the kitchen yet.” “He isn’t responding, which means he doesn’t care about what I just said.”

The truth is that all of my accusations were based on judgements in my head that I had made up. I had assigned a negative motive and intention to the things I was accusing him of that wasn’t true.

Kindness Key #3: When in doubt, just ask.

 

“The story that I’m making up is: that you went to do the dishes to point out to me that I had been sitting around all morning allowing the house to turn into a disaster, is that true?

His response: “No, I just don’t want to make my breakfast in a filthy kitchen, so I’ll clean it up first.”

How often do we make up a story?

 

We have all this past evidence that it is true, (which are often just other times we’ve made up the same story in our minds), so therefore we are completely justified in assuming their motives this time. Nope.

When you notice yourself making up a story, even if you are fully convinced it’s true- it’s better to ask.  Then comes the hard part.  You have to believe their answer.

A final review of the three kindness keys we talked about today?

  1. Don’t say they were being mean, say what they did that was a problem.
  2. Believe the best of others.
  3. When in doubt about their motive, just ask.  The story I’m making up right now is…

 

So, which one resonates with you the most today?  What one thing will you take home and apply in your attempts to be kind and teach kindness to your family?

 

Speak Your Mind

*