“If there weren’t enough pleasantness-challenged people in the world, there might be a good reason for creating more of them. But, as you’ve probably noticed, there seem to be plenty.
Mary is doing her part to increase the ratio of world niceness to nastiness. She also knows that nice kids are more likely to choose nice nursing homes for their elderly parents. As a result, she’s careful to demonstrate niceness to the teller at the bank, to the mail carrier, to the grocery store checkout clerk, etc.
Mary has a secret: she doesn’t always feel like being so pleasant to every one of these folks. Sometimes, she’d just as soon nod, grunt, or ignore them altogether. But Mary has her precious little daughter Shelby in tow as she goes to all these places and sees these individuals.
From my son’s DVD,, Mary was reminded that important values such as respect are “caught” by little ones through the powerful force of modeling. She could spend lots of time telling Shelby to be nice, but she has learned that it is far more effective to show Shelby exactly what it looks like.
Shelby has even learned to say nice things and smile as they progress through their day. And even at her young age, little Shelby has noticed that people seem to be happier around Mommy, and they often tend to be nice right back. Can you imagine the advantage Shelby might have when she’s making friends or interviewing for jobs some day?
If only more moms and dads set out intentionally to model courtesy and respectfulness for their kids when they were driving, running errands, and interacting with other human beings. It just might work better than yelling, “Hey! You be nice!”, when they are less-than-sweet.”
So get out there and be an example of kindness and respect to your kids and to others!
The world thanks ya!
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