We hear it all the time! Kids today are bratty, entitled, and disrespectful.
I want to debunk this common myth about today's youth. Sure, there are a few disrespectful, bratty, and entitled kids out there, but a great many of them are wonderful! I've had stories pour in from all across the globe and I want to share with you today just a few of the inspiring and beautiful hearts of "these kids today."
I have two sons - Maison, who is almost 4, and Zachary, who just turned 2. Maison from the start has been an incredible big brother who continues to make me proud! The moment that I am sharing really touched my heart. I brought the boys to Chuckee Cheese where they have an indoor play tunnel connected to the ceiling. You have to climb all the way up which for an incredible tiny two is a HUGE deal. Maison bustling through climbed up with the speed and agility of a powerful three. When he got to the top he called out for Zach. Zach yelled, "Down here!" Maison climbed back down where he saw Zachary struggle. He then proceeded to tell Zach, "Ok, bubba I will help you". He lifted Zach up each level all the way to the top 3 or 4 times. No questions asked and with joy in his heart. Finally, Zach could do it "by self" as he says. Maison smiled and called over to me, "Mom, he can do it! Yay!". You see this was something so little, yet the smallest things are what make the biggest difference. Taking the few extra steps can make a world of difference to one person. I hope Maison continues to be the person to take those extra steps. The world needs more of those. Zach and I are lucky we get to keep him. - Samantha
My niece recently turned 7 years old. For her birthday this year she asked that instead of presents for her this year, people donate money to Princess Margaret Children's Hospital in the name of her older sister who died 18months ago. She is also about to cut her hair very short so that she can donate it for a child's wig She hopes other kids don't have to know what it's like to lose a sibling. - Kirsty L***
Yesterday my 12 year old son walked a couple of my 7 year old daughter's little friends home. There were two girls and they only had one bike, so my son let them use a second bike he had. Then he realized he couldn't get two bikes back. A teenage boy walked him home and carried the bike for him. - Gina J***
When our youngest was 14, he and his best friend waited for an elderly woman neighbor to leave her house and then swooped in to clear her driveway and walkway from piles of snow. They came in so excited and watched her return peeking out from behind our curtains. She never knew who did this, but what struck me was their absolute delight. He still is a very thoughtful, helpful and kind person. - Cornelia S***
My three-year-old, Audrey, is the most loving and compassionate little person I've ever known. When she was 18 months old a little girl on the playground fell and hurt herself. Audrey heard the little girl crying and walked across the playground to comfort the little girl and make sure she was okay.***
Fast forward to present day, last week we were going through a drive-thru and she was saying "hi!" to the workers in the windows, making them smile. As we drove away she says to me, "I love, love, love people!"
She is teaching me to be a better person every day. I love her heart. I'm one proud mommy! - Melissa F
Small thing but I saw your post on fb. My son, when given the choice to return duplicate presents from his birthday party to buy something else or give it to children who don't have as much, he insisted on giving it to children who don't have as much. He is four. Got the idea from friends who have a six year old and did the same thing.***
My four year old also, on his own accord, asked to make a thank you note for his teachers who stayed on the playground longer when he got there late so he could have some play time. He said "that was so nice of them".
I have also observed his friends coming over to give him hugs when he's crying. One of his friends told his mom he was worried about my son when my son had to leave school early because of an injury.
I see it all the time. Thanks for doing the blog! - Christina B
I love this idea and want to share a little story of my 2 year old daughter. We've recently had a baby boy and so her life has been turned upside down, but she's still so generous. I took her out for a mummy-daughter date to the coffee shop whilst her brother slept. I bought one piece of cake to share with her, but she decided she wanted to give her bit to her daddy. She loves cake so this was very special. <3***
Looking forward to reading all the other stories.
My 5-year-old son received $20 for Easter from his grandparents. He was planning all the things he would buy with it then he thought for a minute and said "Mom, you know what? I don't think I need all that money. I would like to give some of it away to help people." So we did!
My 3-year-old daughter always runs out of holiday candy quickly (Halloween, Christmas, Easter, etc.) because she is so busy giving it away. She remembers people's favorite candies, too, and makes a special effort to give it to them from her stash.
We have never forced or incentivized them to give or share....we just talk about how good it feels to give and how they feel when someone shares with them. - Sara L
My son Brayson is 2.5 yrs old. A few weeks ago we were in Walmart standing in line to pay. Behind us was a lady with a little girl who I believe was struggling financially. The little girl was crying asking for something and I overheard the woman say "No not today we can't afford it". As I paid for my items, my son kept staring at the little girl with a deep look of concern on his face. He reached for me to pick him up and pointed at the little girl. He gave her his balloon I had bought for him and said "Here baby don't cry". The little girl smiled from ear to ear and said thank you. I was so touched I couldn't help but cry. So very proud of my little boy. We went for ice cream after that :) -Jamie***
A few weeks ago I made dinner, and Laila, who usually eats everything in sight, refused every bite that I offered her. The foods I had made that night were all foods that she really enjoys, so Eder decided to just force feed her one bite. He thought that if she just ate the one bite, she’d eat the rest. The food didn’t even make it past her teeth before she was gagging and crying. I told Eder to let her down and when she was hungry, she’d tell us. I fully expected her to run off and play with her toys while we ate. Instead she walked over to my plate and picked up a green bean. Haha Eder! Gentle parenting works! She just wanted to feed herself! To my surprise, she put the green bean in my mouth! She fed me one green bean after the other, then potatoes, and then little bites of fish. Once the larger portion of the plate was gone, she fed herself the rest.
I was so touched by this little act of kindness. Laila had seen me taking care of her, and this time she wanted to take care of me! - Mary M.
I have a very hyper boy (7) and he always has been. I consider it just him being a boy. I used to be a very punitive parent because I bought into the idea that children must be perfect and behave and stay still and silent. Once I checked myself, I noticed a lot more of my son's natural wonderful qualities. He's empathetic, helpful, kind, shows initiative, imaginative, and many more. He is the first one to rush to anyone who has tripped or is crying to find out how he can help. Today, he carried his sister by piggy back for almost a mile during our 3 mile walk. Once we got to our destination, we met a little boy (5 years old) whose mother was busy talking with her friend, so my son played with him. When the little boy needed to go to the bathroom, his mom got frustrated with him, brought him to the bathroom and left him there because her other child was crying. I saw my son go to check on his new friend and said he helped him wash his hands because he couldn't reach the sink. I can only imagine my son giving this boy a boost to reach the faucet. When we got home, he said he wanted to take a bath and he washed the tub all by himself the way he saw me do it he said. I was surprised by his initiative. When I went to check, the tub was really shiny!***
Also, my 3 year old heard me talking to her younger brother about changing his diaper, and she went to get the diaper and butt paste and brought them to me! I didn't even ask her! She saw what I was doing and observed from previous diaper changes what I use, and she brought them to me. - Maranela B
My almost 4 year old son, thanks to the efforts of positive parenting, is probably more emotionally mature than I am.
I grew up horribly emotionally and mentally abused by my father. I have been in therapy for 10 years and I struggle with severe depression and postpartum depression and possibly adult ADHD. I suffer from confusion with feelings of anger, self-hatred, and sorrow. We have really made the commitment to positive parenting and emotional development in our children so that they do not have to ever suffer the way that I did.
Today, I started to digress into a place of anger and was a little aggressive with my words towards my husband about house organization and tidiness. Something mediocre, not requiring my agitation. However, because I was descending into that angry place, my son came to me and put his hands on my stomach in a loving way and said, "Mom, mommy...everything's going to be okay" and he smiled.
It makes me cry to think that he has the emotional maturity and strength to help his damaged mommy heal herself of years of tragedy. Needless to say, I was able to put myself back into a calmer place.
I encourage people to understand that emotional development in children does not manifest into "entitlement" or "brattiness." It helps them learn to collaborate, stay calm in the face of adversity, and give strength to those around them. It is about balance; it is about connecting with them at many moments so that they do need to "act out" to garner attention. It is understanding that they, too, are human and that they have wants and needs. And why is it we teach our children that they cannot ever have what they want? Why do we insist on teaching them a circular argument of going after what they want yet when they want it, we deny them consistently? Collaboration, limitations, and connection help to create assertive children who respect others and respect themselves.
I realise this is really harder said than done... that mistakes get made and we try to remedy those mistakes in the best way we can. I certainly am not perfect by any means. That said, my son makes great strides to remind me that everything will be okay.