If I want to raise a kind child—I must be a kind parent, too

I imagine that we’ve all heard of the golden rule. Maybe as a child you noticed this message written on a banner in your school classroom or on a poster hanging on the wall at the doctor’s office. The text may have differed, but the message was always the same:

Treat other people the way you like to be treated.

As a student of psychology, of education, and as a teacher, I consciously observe behaviors. As a mother of young children I find myself in constant care, watching almost every move.

It is my greatest hope as a parent that my children will be happy, that they will be the best versions of themselves in each moment they are in. In the morning before I share my 5-year-old son with the kindergarten world, I gently remind him of what is most important: be kind to yourself and kind to others.

I lovingly offer the same message to my 3-year-old throughout our daily adventures together. And I gently tell myself the same.

As a schoolteacher I experienced the way to truly teach respect was to first give respect.

I chose to see my students as feeling people, just like me. Furthermore I needed to recognize that they didn’t always know how to process big feelings and I could give them space, and at times the guidance to do that.

It is the same in my home. I have to be what I hope my children will be. If I wish for my children to be kind then I have to be kind to them.

If I ask them to listen when I speak, then I must first offer them my attention.

If I hope they apologize for mistakes made, then I need to be willing to do the same.

If I desire that they truly forgive, then it is essential I give grace too.

Here lies what I believe to be the “golden rule of parenting:”

Treat your children the way you want them to treat others.

This also includes how they treat themselves. Parents, we have a huge responsibility as guides of life. We are the voices inside of our children’s heads until they discover their own inner voice. They are always listening and always watching.

There is no doubt that they are their own little beings and at times we wonder as parents where they came from. The questions surrounding child development and the influences of nature and nurture continue because there are many factors affecting personality and behavior. It is valuable to know that our actions do not make us who we are; they are simply movements that rise from our moving thoughts.

Parents, we are not asked to be perfect, actually we are expected to make mistakes because we are imperfect human beings. But we can choose how we receive our errors, forgive our faults, and move forward with a little more wisdom in our step.

I kindly share simple ways of being that may bring this belief to life.

First, see their experience.

You know that saying put yourself in their shoes? It can be difficult to be in another’s shoes because we receive and process information in different ways, but you can choose to see the big picture of what your child may be experiencing.

Slow down enough to be aware of what your child may be feeling, perhaps tired or afraid. Then think about how you react when you are tired or afraid. Notice if your heart and your tone soften a little with that knowing.

Then, take a deep breath.

Offer yourself a moment to connect to your calm center so that you can speak and act from a peaceful place. Know that your child is not the behavior that you are seeing but is love—a loving being reacting in a difficult moment.

Know that you are also love—a loving being navigating through a challenging situation. It may be helpful to take a deep inhale and in your mind say, “I am love.” And with the long exhale that follows, whisper to your child, “You are love.”

Speak to yourself and others from a place of love knowing that feelings flee, behaviors fade, events transform, and what will always remain will be the love that you are, and the love that you hold for others.

We're so glad to live in a time when modern baby gear exists. Sure, no one is going to argue that having a baby is easy—but it can be easier with support from some gadgets designed to help your baby and put your mind at ease.

As you build your baby registry, look for products that go the extra mile to make your life a whole lot easier. For example, what's better than a bassinet? A bassinet that can rock by itself. And what's better than a traditional baby monitor? One that allows you to actually take a peek at your baby. Believe us when we say these upgrades can make all the difference.

Here are 10 baby gadgets that will make your life so much easier… relatively speaking, of course!

A bassinet to promote safe + sound sleep

HALO Innovations Bassinest Swivel Sleeper Essenta Series Nautical Net

The safest place for your newborn to sleep is in your room, but not in your bed. Thanks to the swivel function of the Halo Bassinest, you can easily tend to your baby during the night—which means more sleep for you, too. Trust us when we say that is the best gift you can give a new parent.


A smart swing for your baby

4moms mamaRoo 4 Bluetooth Enabled High-Tech Baby Swing - Classic

Believe it or not, many babies are born with strong opinions about how they want to be rocked, swung or shushed to calm down. With the mamaRoo's various motions and reclining positions, you'll be able to find a setting your baby loves when you need to free up your hands for a bit.


A complete travel system for car + sidewalk

Chicco Bravo Travel System - Indigo

No matter where the day takes you—or what mode of transportation you need to get there—getting a complete travel system for your baby will equip you for anything.


A swaddle you don’t have to wrestle

Love To Dream Swaddle UP Original

What do babies and Harry Houdini have in common? A knack for breaking out of tight constraints—which can be a headache when swaddling is the best way to help promote good sleep. Thanks to a breakout-proof swaddle that allows your baby to sleep with their hands up, you don't have to work up a sweat just to get your baby comfortably swaddled.


A nursery wherever you need it

Baby Trend Lil Snooze Deluxe II Nursery Center

During the early days of parenting (when you are feeding and changing your baby around the clock), having convenient access to everything you need with a go-anywhere nursery station can save you serious time and energy.


A little help for stuffy noses

Fridababy NoseFrida Nasal Aspirator

Up until the point years down the road when your child is able to blow their own nose, the sniffles can be a real struggle—but not with a nasal aspirator that makes it easy for you to get that snot out of their nose.


A way to keep an eye on your baby

VTech 5" Digital Video Baby Monitor - VM5251

Trust us when we say you'll sleep better when you know your baby is also sleeping soundly. That's why we're so thankful for modern-day video monitors, which allow you to check in on your sleeping baby without running the risk of waking them up when you sneak in for a peek.


A bassinet for hands-free rocking

Simmons Kids Silent Auto Gliding Elite Bassinet - Odyssey

Babies are soothed by rocking motions. But what does that mean for you if you can't rock them throughout the night? With an auto-gliding bassinet, they can comfortably drift off to sleep... and continue snoozing.


An easy way to contain diaper smells

Diaper Genie Expressions Pail

Sometimes it's the little conveniences that make a big difference in the quality of your day-to-day life. That's why a great diaper pail should not be undervalued: By containing the smell, you will save yourself dozens upon dozens of trips to the garbage can.


A white noise machine that pulls double duty

Hatch Rest Sound Machine, Night Light & Time-to-Rise

A phone-controlled sound machine may be something you never considered until now, but it will be a major lifesaver for years to come, especially as it can also function as a time-to-rise clock that promotes good sleep habits for your child.


And as for securing all these awesome products? Well, a Target baby registry is the way to do it. By creating your baby registry with Target, you will also enjoy their Year of Benefits registry program, which includes perks like a welcome kit with more than $100 in savings and samples, two 15% off coupons to complete your registry, and a full year of returns. The benefits are better than ever right now: Target just launched the Year of Exclusive Deals perk as one of its registry benefits, and this includes a year's worth of discounts on baby essentials (think diapers and formula) and comes complementary when you sign up for Target Circle.

Because while parenting may not be "easy," deciding to register with Target definitely is an easy decision. Start your Target baby registry now and enjoy shopping with a Year of Benefits featuring a Year of Exclusive Deals available via Target Circle, two 15% off coupons, a year of hassle-free returns, a free welcome kit and more!

This article was sponsored by Target. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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