My boys got a first hand lesson in building character yesterday.
They actually got two.
Someone said something very unkind to me. And my feelings were hurt. That was the first lesson. They got an up close view of how your words and actions can hurt others. They saw mommy cry and be very upset. (I admit that I'm sensitive, so maybe it was a bigger lesson than it would have been with someone else.)
Next, they got to see me respond. I asked them how I should respond. Both of them said I should be mean back. They both thought that I should hurt the person that hurt me. And this is where I got to have a very good discussion with them about what that would accomplish.
Me: How do you feel when you are mean to someone?
Super J: bad.
Me: And, yet, you think my response should be mean. Just like the person was mean to me.
Super J: But they were mean to you! They hurt you.
Me: Yes, they did. But if I'm mean back then we are both wrong. If I treat them with kindness, then I will have nothing to feel bad about. But if I am mean to them, I am no better than they are. We would both feel bad. And I would rather go to bed tonight knowing that I was above that.
It was a tough lesson- for me at least! :) But one that I'm glad I get to teach them. I know there are a lot of bullies and mean people out in the world. I would rather they get to see it with my guidance than getting a lesson from school.