Is it better to be beautiful but unkind, unhelpful and lazy or is it better to be beautiful and kind, happy, creative, thoughtful? I ask my children this, or rather, I have a picture on the playroom wall that says Today, Have I Been...... loyal, loving, creative, kind, helpful, and so on.
When they are little they of course say, better to be kind but as they grow older and get stroppy and moody they can sometimes answer the other way - because they can. But underneath they still know what the answer should be (unless they have some underlying psychopathic tendancies, like We Need To Talk About Kevin, crikey, your worst nightmare).
The Dalaï Lama says there are two kinds of selfish people: unwise and selfish and wise and selfish. Unwise and selfish think only of themselves and those closest to them and cause confusion and pain. The wise and selfish think about others too and bring compassion and joy. So I try and teach this to my children: to think about others.
April 2nd is Good Deeds Day and because it is a Sunday this year, BCorps are doing stuff 31st March. Goodness Gracious' contribution is to have a #RandomActsOfKindness day - our focus is on children and so showing them how to be kind to other people in need, or just randomly, is the correct way to lead your life in a community with other people.
We want kindness. When they are in the playground and the buds of bullying can start, then the old adage, Kill Them With Kindness can help. In my own experience, consistent talk of 'if they are mean, don't shy away, be kind to them' over and over and over, seems to have helped. Include the mean beans in a play time or always say kind things. 'Two Wrongs Don't Make A Right' all that, it is our role as parents to guide them.