May 30: Choose Kindness
Updated: Aug 18, 2020
Many of the people I spoke with this week were displaying notable signs of weariness. My observation is that many parents and children are feeling worn down. Families are missing the people they can’t see –grandparents, friends, cousins, or beloved teachers - and also feeling exhausted by the restrictions imposed by the pandemic. Upsetting world events can exacerbate feelings of distress, and while some people may feel tired and dragged down, others are feeling irritable and quick to anger.
If any of this sounds familiar, I encourage you to talk with your family about treating each other kindly and gently. Consider having a family meeting where you brainstorm ideas about how to choose kindness. Depending on the age(s) of your child(ren), you might discuss proactive ways to be caring such as helping each other with chores, giving a family member a kind note or drawing, or offering to give someone a back rub or foot rub. Alternatively, family members might display kindness by taking a breath and walking away when someone else is acting irritable or by shifting the tone of a tense moment by encouraging the whole group to head outside or turn on music and dance. I realize that these strategies don’t provide long-term solutions to the ongoing stress and chaos we are all experiencing, but I hope they provide some moments of relief and positivity.