How We Treat Others
Treating others how we would like to be treated is something we are often reinforcing in our household. We find that it applies to any setting: public or private, home, school, play dates, the list goes on. When we ask how Ian would feel if someone hurt him, if his friend did not respond when he said hello or goodbye, if Ian was sad—wouldn’t he want his friend to ask if he’s okay? I usually hear his reply as no, he wouldn’t want any of those negative things to happen to him or to anyone else he cares about and that yes, he would want his friend to ask if he’s okay, especially if it was his little brother Arthur. Talking about this with him is an extension of him apologizing and may even be discussed after a time out on the naughty stair at home.
Often this principle applies to parents. For the most part, we think, we’re adults and should know right from wrong. Let’s hope we all do! But there are things that I may do when I think, do I want my child to learn that or do that? For example, do I really want to sneak that cookie before dinner for fear that my boys will see and demand the treat before they’ve had a healthy meal? I may be guilty as charged, but we’ll keep that our secret.
Putting yourself in another person’s shoes can be applied to anyone in any situation. I find that by doing just that with my boys, I have reason to apply the same philosophy in my own relationships with others, solidifying publicly to my boys, that I do practice what I preach.
Courtney Ford is mom to second-year Coop kid, Ian, and to 2-year old Arthur.