The Domino Effect

My four-year-old daughter surprises me with her acts of kindness and compassion on a daily basis. I am realizing more and more every day just how important it is to model the behaviors, like this one, that I expect from my daughters. Our children are always watching, whether we realize it or not. Even when we don’t think they notice, they do. They’re sneaky like that. Kindness has this sort of domino effect. When we treat others (our children, friends, family, strangers) and ourselves with kindness, our children will tend to do the same.

Kindness gives birth to kindness. ~ Sophocles

Here are some examples of how my daughter has demonstrated kindness and compassion recently:

When we took our girls to the Big E, she won a stuffed playing the water gun game and right away gave it to her sister. Also, she acted like such a little mother when her little sister was scared on one of the rides. She consoled, comforted, and hugged her through it.
All through the spring and summer she picked flowers (ok, weeds) for me from our yard because she saw how happy it made me. Now that it’s fall, she has been collecting pretty leaves for me just in case we want to do another fun art project (she knows me so well).

She frequently offers to help her sister when she needs it (putting on shoes, getting undressed, playing a game).

She is sad when her sister gets hurt. “I don’t want Emma to cry. I love my sister!” she says. And then she tries to comfort her with a hug.

On her first day of school this year she hugged a new friend so tightly while saying goodbye. It was adorable. When I asked what her what her new friend’s name is she replied, “I don’t know.” I thought it was just so awesome that she was compelled to treat someone she just met as though they have been lifelong friends!

Remember there’s no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end. ~ Scott Adams

There are plenty of times when my patience (or lack thereof) is put to the test but I’m trying hard to remind myself that how I handle these situations could very well impact how she treats others. No pressure, right? These little moments when I observe her being kind to others melt my heart and serve as a reminder that I must be doing something right.

Giving her little sister more food to feed the animals at the farm. (Photo by C. C.orrigan)
Giving her little sister more food to feed the animals at the farm. (Photo by C. C.orrigan)

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