When you see your child disappointed or in tears because of the actions of another child your own heart hurts for them.
It’s not nice to see. And though we might want to, we can’t fight their battles for them. So what is the best way to empower your child so that the words or behaviours of others don’t hurt (or at least hurt a lot less)?
I’ve had to deal with this issue in my own home and one piece of advice I give my kids is this:
Every person emits what is inside them. If a person is happy, they radiate joy and express this though smiles, positive words and connecting with others. If a person is sad, they radiate discomfort through expression of stress, unkind words and disconnection.
So when a classmate is being mean to you it is their way of showing you their own unhappiness. They may be having a difficult time at school or at home. You don’t know what is going on in their life, so instead of being angry at them, feel compassion for them.
Showing my girls how to change their perspective has given them a strategy they can use whenever confronted with unkindness. It has allowed them stay strong and remain calm on many occasions where they would have otherwise become upset.
By helping your child to ‘see’ the bigger picture and have them understand that another person’s behaviour is not personal, it helps them stay proactive, rather than reactive. When we teach kids to imagine what the bigger picture may be, we also grow their ability to be insightful and empathetic.
So the next time your child comes home after a difficult day at school, give them the gift of empowerment. Teach them to respond to unkindness with understanding. For an unkind child is an unhappy child. It is not personal.