“Keep your hands to yourself.”
Once upon a time ago
tonight, my almost 6 year old, princess-crazed daughter (thus the princess, royalty references here often) needed to be reminded to show compassion and kindness rather then physical aggression even in her angriest of moments like after an argument with her younger sister.
It is times like these, when she perceives that she isn’t getting her way or a toy she wants in in her sister’s possession that compassion is a bit harder to come by from this wannabe princess.
Even though she still embraces the mantra taught to her back from her preschool days, “Sharing is caring,” it most truly isn’t quite as easy as that three word phrase for her by any means, nor is one of her other favorite sayings made popular from Frozen craze of “Sisters Forever” or even one taught to the princesses by their grandmother, “Sisters Helping Sisters”, tonight in our humble castle.
Although at her age, she mostly knows better then to react in less then a compassionate way at school or with a friend, but with her own sister as you can clearly see is a different story.
I am in no way stating that her younger sister is innocent by any means, but still my older daughter definitely is more of the hot-headed princess, who tends to use physical warfare more so, especially this time and where the true meaning of “It’s the quiet ones you have to watch out for” comes to mind.
Still, the princesses are young and impressionable. Yet it is moments like these, we would like to curb teaching them both right from wrong in their reactions, especially with showing more compassion and less discord to each other, as well as others to lessen heated princess moments like this.
But right now the definition and action of compassion is lacking for this princess…
Especially after the above and other similar sisterly squabbles, compassion is definitely something we keep trying constantly to stress in our
castle home, as this is an essential trait we hope and pray both will grow up exhibiting more often then not.
Dealing with Compassion In Our Most “Royal Abode”-
1. Walk the Compassion Talk At Home for Our Princesses
Compassion starts at home with both Kevin and I (the King and Queen of our kingdom), who do our best to show that we not only love ourselves, but we do very much love and care for each other, as well, in even the smallest of gestures.
Our daily modeling, we are hopeful, will be an extra push to help both princesses be more understanding of each other even when they might not want to be.
Please don’t get me wrong, we aren’t perfect by any means and have our moments like this recent gaming strife, but again we are all works in progress with me even more recently forgiving Kevin’s earlier cheating gaming habits by extending an olive branch by challenging him to new game.
2. The Princesses Getting Schooled On Compassion
Our local school also has helped to play a role in teaching compassion and most recently made all the students (my oldest princess included) with 100 Acts of Kindness for the 100th Day of School.
We had to pick two compassionate and kind actions that Princess Emma exhibited at home to proudly share with her teacher and classmates.
She was so very excited with being more then willing to be helpful and kind to all of us.
In the end first, we chose her helping us to make a snowy day family breakfast of chocolate chip pancakes, as well pitching in to show Princess Lily how to write some of her letters that she was learning for preschool.
These acts of compassion were a great learning lesson and am thankful that school was willing to help in teaching compassion to the kids and also hopeful that Princess Lily will get to join in on the action next year as a kindergartner herself.
Although, this is a one day activity, it still helps seeing and practicing compassion at this young age at school, as well.
3. Extra-curricular Activities Aid in Princess Compassion Lessons
This past fall, our kindergarten princess also joined the ranks of many young girls becoming a Girl Scout (I was also a Girl Scout at her age), where she has earned a handful of badges doing a multitude of compassionate acts, including caroling at Christmas time to local neighbors with her Girl Scout troop.
Of course, she loves the physical reward in getting the badges, but with each badge she receives she is continually practicing compassion on a greater, grander level with her fellow Girl Scouts.
Also, have high hopes that our younger princess will join the Girl Scouts next year in her kindergarten year so she can get in on the Girl Scout compassion lessons, as well.
4. Reading to Princesses Plays a Compassionate Role
Before bed, we always try our best to read a book together, which I am more then hopeful fosters a lifelong love of reading for my princesses.
But I have also recently added books on compassion to our reading list, especially after the school sponsored activity to help further aid in continuing the compassion talk in our home at the end of our long days, that I found here to see even more faces of what compassion looks like.
Right now the books are indeed age appropriate, but as the two princesses get older, I am hopeful that they will read one of my favorite books possibly with me, that I recently read, Wonder, as this book truly exemplifies how I would hope my girls would indeed treat others no matter what at any age.
5. And It’s OK for Princesses to Get Angry
When all else fails and tensions boil like the above disagreement, we still try very hard to not ignore our princesses’ anger by getting to the bottom of what may be annoying them when frustration does indeed rear its ugly head.
Let’s be honest, no matter how much we hope compassion will be their reaction towards each other, there are always going to be moments.
So back to that original scuffle.
Well, it turns out that Princess Emma had taken out one of their puzzles to put together first. But Princess Emma thought Princess Lily was taking the puzzle over, while Princess Lily thought she was just helping her sister put the puzzle together. It was a fundamental sibling disagreement, which both princesses saw their own point more then the others. The final straw was Princess Lily taking one of the puzzle pieces and not wanting to give it to Princess Emma. So, Princess Emma tried to grab for the puzzle piece and pinching Princess Lily in the process.
Once we got to the bottom of this royal argument and dealt with the issue at hand, calmer minds prevailed and the princesses actually happily finished putting the puzzle together.
However make no mistake and don’t get me wrong, I don’t want you to assume that I am validating this type of anger to the princesses or let them think anger is the acceptable way to indeed deal with their negative feelings.
But by acknowledging their anger and letting them understand that anger is a normal emotion that they may feel from time-to-time, both Kevin and I feel that this will further help them learn how to channel and thus regulate their anger enabling them to instead embrace and exhibit compassion more as they age and mature.
Happily ever after for now, as compassion was thus returned to our majestic kingdom just in time for #1000Speak #Compassion Day!
Yes, this was told as a fairy tale with a happy ending (what fairy tale doesn’t have a happy ending?). Yet, I am not naive and know we will have more sibling moments like this as the girls grow up, but am truly filled with more hope then you will ever know from this movement.
Won’t you join us?