I’ve observed an amazing phenomenon the past four years while working in an elementary school. Adults become better people around kids. We are more honest, forgiving, kind, and gentle when we have children observing our behavior all day.
Kids are extremely focused on the notion of “fairness.” If an adult doesn’t abide by the rules they have set for a child, you bet that kid is going to call them out. In the classroom adults do not swear or yell at each other, we want to model healthy relationships and problem solving. But when someone cuts us off during the morning commute we act in a way that would land any child in the principle’s office.
So think about that lesson you would really want to teach a child. For me, I would want to help a child understand how to accept situations that don’t go exactly their way, and how to go back to enjoying themselves afterwards.
Take that lesson you want to pass on, and first teach it to yourself. Kids learn by example after all. Learn how to model that behavior which you would want to see others enact. Not only will you be helping yourself, but you may also be helping a child you don’t even realize is paying attention.