Being Kind to Children Model What You Want to See in the World

Recently, our family had a couple of positive experiences with our family feeling accepted exactly as we are. People were especially kind to us. It was refreshing.

Water play at a kids’ science museum

Kind words

In the US, we went to a fast food restaurant, during an unplanned day out and about. We were there during a slow time of day. The woman who took our order looked like a kindly grandmother. She took a shine to my kids and gave us two free desserts for them. Later, she brought each child a toy. It has been quite awhile since we have experienced a kindness like that. And acceptance.

We also had a wonderful opportunity to visit Mexico. Even the fancier restaurants there have children’s play areas. Parenting felt a lot more relaxed. Granted, I do have the outsider’s perspective. However, that sentiment was echoed by an expat who’d been living there for over a year with her child.

It felt as though the world there was made to fit kids into it, instead of kids being expected to fit into an adult world. In addition, every adult we encountered spoke to our children. While that was a little overwhelming for my kids, it was done in quite a respectful manner.

A huge play cafe for kids in Mexico.

Where do kids fit?

Nowadays, it feels like kids aren’t welcome anywhere, especially if they are acting like kids. Kids are not little adults. They have feelings and thoughts. Mainstream parenting practices insist that kids always act in a way that parents (and other adults) themselves can’t master. I know parenting is hard. It’s harder still when people post horrible memes online about how badly kids behave and how parents don’t control them. There are so many studies out there about how damaging demanding obedience at all costs is to a child. Let’s all move toward being respectful to kids (it’s different than being permissive). And maybe offer a smile to the struggling parent and child.

Want a gentler and more peaceful world? It starts with adults who choose to be kind to children.

Natalie started the travel blog blissmersion.com in April, 2016. Blissmersion is combination of the words “bliss” and “immersion, because she loves combined words almost as much as she loves alliteration. Longer, slower, immersion travel is her goal because she wants to show her children the world. Blissmersion is the collection of their travel adventures, as a family, and also of Natalie’s past travels.

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