CHILD CRUELTY

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Sometimes, regardless of everything we have chosen to teach our kids about manners, etiquette and kindness, our children’s behaviour goes totally against the way in which they have been raised.

I recently watched a little boy at the park hit another kid while his mother watched on mortified that he was capable of this cruelty. I just heard a story of a child calling another kid names, only to have their Mum intervene to get the child to pen a written apology for his actions and tonight I witnessed my own daughter exclude her little sister for no apparent reason.

As much as every parent tries to teach their kids compassion, loyalty, kindness, empathy, sharing, manners and etiquette there are times when those lessons go unheeded and you are left wondering where you went wrong.

It’s hard to watch this happen as it makes you feel like you have failed as a parent, but I guess all you can do is show consistency with what you expect of your kids and hope that it sinks in.

I have great admiration for the mother who made her son write an apology because it shows great humility and hopefully her son will think twice about being cruel in the future. Similarly, the mother whose son hit another boy made him apologise and shake hands with the other kid to teach him how to settle a disagreement.

As parents we like to see the positives in our children, however when we take off the rose coloured glasses, we see that most kids have at one time or another done something insensitive or rude to another person.

Children on the whole are quite selfish creatures and it is a parent’s job to try to direct them and teach them how to behave in the hope that eventually they will understand the impact their words and actions have on other people. So if you have ever cringed at your child’s behaviour, just know that you are not alone and that all parents are trying to raise their kids to be the best people they can be. Unfortunately sometimes kids need to learn through experience for our lessons (aka nagging) to sink in.

(Image courtesy of Prawny, freedigitalphotos.net)

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