Teaching Kids to be Nice

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Our world, it seems, has a lot of hate and negativity going around. So as parents, we need to teach our kids to be nice to people around us. Or should we show it more as an example to our kids?

Today, we went to Gaisano City after church to buy milk for Dindin and some grocery items. When we went inside the milk station, Dindin saw a guard standing by the entrance so she waved at him casually and said, “Hi guard!” But the guard did not hear it and so I had to bring it to his attention. He smiled and also said hi to Dindin. When we left, Dindin also said goodbye. The guard was all smiles. She just made somebody happy because she noticed that he exists. She does that to the guards wherever we go.

Then we went inside the grocery section and Dindin was all in good spirits.

On our way out, I thought of buying pan de sal for Dindin’s afternoon snacks because she likes it. I put her on the floor in front of the bread counter and told her to stay, as Mama will just buy bread. Then I heard the other girl shout, “hoy!” to us. I am not sure if she was referring to Dindin but she was looking at me. She looked mestiza, like a half-bred and looking at her mom, I assumed that her dad was a foreigner. She was between five to six years old.

I did not mind her and ordered bread. But Dindin noticed her after she shouted and said, “Hi girl,” while waving at the other girl. You know what the other girl did? She stuck her tongue out at Dindin and said “bleh!” with her eyes wide. My innocent daughter just looked her, probably wondering what the girl was doing. And all this time, the mother was just standing beside us.

I am not sure if she noticed what her daughter was doing or if she thinks that is just okay because it is child’s play. What I think, however, is that meanness can be carried on later in life. I often see mean girls portrayed in teleseryes and my husband and I would wonder if kids can really be so mean in school, like in the show Mutya. After that incident, then I am thinking that what is being shown on TV is actually happening in real life.

Anyway, there are times when Dindin can show unruly behavior and we gently remind her to be nice. And generally, she is nice to people, as long as they do not attempt to carry her, which means taking her away from me. She does not like that. She also does not like to be touched, especially her hair, but that is more a matter of preference than character. What I think is, she just wants to be respected as a person or an individual, not just a BABY (because adults often treat babies as just babies, not PERSONS).

A lot of people are concerned with our decision to homeschool Dindin because they say that it might affect her social abilities. Concluding from the event above, who do you think is more socially effective behavior between the two kids?


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