Another night, another Coursera discussion question that got me thinking. This time the prompt was to describe how you’ve witnessed love and kindness this week. The following was my response:
Since becoming a mother, I’ve had one goal for my child: to be kind. As as strong proponent of living by the philosophies of “love they neighbor” and “do unto others as you would have done to do you,” this has been extremely important to me. At the most basic level, I’ve taught my now toddler these philosophies by teaching him and modeling to him conversational kindness by saying “Please” and “Thank you” along with other common courtesies. Additionally, we have worked on doing things like sharing with others and how to help someone when they are sad. This holiday season we’ve taken our teaching him about kindness one step further and taught him about the importance of giving to others via The Angel Tree.
The Angel Tree has been an important holiday tradition for my husband and I for as long as I can remember. We always loved blessing children in need during the holiday season, and when our own child came along, we knew we wanted to teach him to do the same. Because of Covid, we hadn’t had an Angel Tree child since 2019, but we knew immediately that we wanted to help a child this year. As we started talking about it, I started thinking that I wanted our toddler to be involved in the entire process. I thought that this would be a great way to start showing him that Christmas isn’t just about getting presents from Santa. So when the time came to choose a child, we had our toddler pick who we were going to bless this Christmas. We asked him what angel he wanted to pick, and he told us a baby boy.
Once the child was chose, we had discussions with our toddler about what things the baby from the Angel Tree wanted. We talked about how the things on the baby’s list would be for him and not our toddler. I was amazed at how understanding our toddler seemed to be of this concept. Today, we finally did the shopping for our Angel Tree child. We took our toddler with us, and we made a big deal about how we were going to be getting things to give to the baby he picked. Together as a family, we spent a few hours picking out items for the baby from the Angel Tree. I was so proud of how my toddler picked out toys and clothes for this little baby that we don’t even know. By the end of the trip, he was saying “Baby’s Name needs this!”
Tomorrow, we will be dropping off all of the items that we bought today. I always get sentimental when we drop them off because I always feel blessed to be able to help others. This year I feel even more blessed because I believe that my toddler is learning the importance of kindness and love from things like this. Why is that so important? Because learning kindness starts at home.
The Great Kaysby