Kids can be SO mean. With school back in swing for only a few weeks, I’m already trying to fight off my mama bear instincts on the sports field.
For instance, during a recent girls soccer game our team was down 5-0. It was rather excruciating to watch. The opposing team was clearly reveling in their victory and let our girls know it. In one instance my midfielder collided with an opponent while chasing a ball, both girls flying in the air like rag dolls. As they struggled to get up off the turf, the other girl stood up first and purposely stepped on my daughter’s hand with her cleats. The girl hissed at her and said… well, I can’t write it here. (Ok, a version of Frig U). Scrappy as my kid is, she bounced up not to be deterred.
She told me about the unkind gesture afterward. “I’m so mad! That was so unnecessary!” Indeed. Ok, this stuff happens all the time under coaches noses. I was reminded of what Michelle Obama said in a fabulous speech at the democratic convention about how she tells her daughters, “When they go low, you go high.” (Wise words, of course, for public figures.)
How do we help our kids to grow kind minds when every single day we are confronted with mean and mindless people?
We have to focus on the good examples out there. Because there are lots of them. Here’s one: the U14 Boys World Challenge Soccer game (Japan vs. Brazil). If you have seen it already it’s worth watching again and sharing it with your kids. (The music helps. Grab a tissue.) I’m tempted to send it to the coach of the other team.
Yup, compassion always wins.
- Self-Compassion: A Twist on the Golden Rule
- Self-Compassion for Moms
- Making Grateful Kids: The Science of Building Character (book)