teens kindness

Dear Teens, Being Responsible is a Great Kindness

(Inside: Teens, know the full kindness, including the side that often doesn’t get the kind of cartwheels and confetti it deserves. Read on…)

To my Tween and Teens,

I want to talk as a family about kindness.

And maybe not the type of kindness you’re thinking of. We all appreciate nice words and patience, but that’s not what I want to discuss. There’s a piece to kindness that you can display that’s super simple and definitely gets noticed, though maybe not always in a cartwheels and confetti sort of way.

Kindness looks like getting up and getting yourself ready for school without a parent having to cluck around you like a chicken to micromanage.

And showing up to class prepared and engaging in the lessons; that’s so incredibly kind to your teacher and your peers.
 
Kindness looks like scooping up your crumpled sandwich bag after lunch and dropping it in the trash on your way back to class.
 
And being on time with your cleats laced up to after-school practice – your coaches eat that up.
 
Kindness is, after inhaling a pile of spaghetti and garlic bread, jumping into clearing the table and rinsing dishes.
 
And getting your stuff ready for the next day, completing your homework, checking off your evening to-do list before plopping on the couch with a big-well-deserved second bowl of cereal.

The thing is, that type of kindness in teens – where you take care of your responsibilities – is incredibly mature.

It realizes that your actions impact those around you, even when it feels like they shouldn’t. It says that you respect others by respecting yourself and the space that you occupy together.
 
This aspect of kindness benefits others, but even more than that, it benefits you. The healthy routines practiced now prepare you to have better relationships with your future roommate, spouse, friends, coworkers, and people you do life with. It feels good to contribute to (and be in) a circle where people respect others by taking care of their part.
teens kindness
Connect as a family over working on kindness. Read more here.

I know sometimes you do this well, but your dad and I don’t stop and throw confetti and say we notice.

But we do. So, I want to acknowledge that now and say, from the bottom of my heart, thank you.
 
And then there are times you don’t display this type of kindness because we’re not robots and life happens.

But, either way, I wanted to talk about the full definition of kindness with you.

Because as we continually work together (including giving each other a lot of grace and space) to create a kind home, it’s important for us all to be aware of this side of the word.
 
Thanks for listening. You always humor me during my family Ted Talks.
 
I love our family.
 
And I love you.
 
Your Mom

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Connect as a family over working on kindness. Read more here.