Bloggy Moms

Friday, February 6, 2015

Embracing My Daughter's Compassion

Ever since Princess was little she's had a very big heart. Whenever someone is hurt or crying, she's the first one to run to their side. There were many times when she was younger that she'd actually ask a stranger if she could pray for them. She's the kid who always asks how someone got injured.
I remember one time when Princess was in preschool that she wasn't so kind. The director of the school called me to come get my child because she had bit another child very hard. Miss Sally was very concerned because it appeared that Princess was not upset by what had happened. I believe that Princess did not possess the words to express herself. Even though she was a very verbal child with a huge vocabulary, she did not know how to apologize for her actions. That came across as a lack of remorse. Over the years Princess has brought up this incident numerous times.  She does feel compassion and is quite shocked that she inflicted pain on another classmate.
This scene played out many times. Princess would injure a child, lack the ability to feel remorse in the moment but then later express concern for her fellow classmate.
Instead of focusing on Princess' aggression, I chose to focus on her compassion. Before Disneyland raised their Annual Passholder prices out of our pocket book range, Princess and I were AP's for about five years.  We'd go to The Happiest Place on Earth once or twice a month. One day when she was around seven I decided to capitalize on Princess' kind words. I took her to City Hall on Main Street to get her an Honorary Citizen badge. I told her that she was an Ambassador of Good Cheer at the park for the day. She took her job seriously. Every time we saw someone with a birthday, engagement or My 1st Visit button; Princess would acknowledge them accordingly. People were shocked but generally thrilled.
My acceptance of Princess' unique ability to cheer people up did not come overnight. For a very long time I was annoyed by it. It took us more time to get to our final destination when we were out in public. Plus when Princess was greeting or praying for others, I had to engage as well. I am a pretty friendly person by nature but my daughter takes kindness to a whole other level.
I still talked with her about her aggressive behavior. She received consequences for it at home as well. I just reminded her of the good feelings that making someone's day brought. I know that in the past 14 months Princess has made significant gains in all areas. These are mostly due to an awesome medication and a wonderful school. I can't help but to think that I helped in some small way by embracing my child's compassionate heart rather than shame her for it.

This is a picture of Princess at Disneyland when she was about five. She asked these random cast members to sign her autograph book and to pose for a picture with her.

4 comments:

  1. Lovely post about a lovely girl! It's easy to see where your daughter gets her compassionate heart from. I love the things you've done to encourage this trait in her. She is going to be a fine lady one day.

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  2. My daughter has always been overwhelmed with empathy. She feels every little pain others experience. It's my son who has had to come to the understanding in more of a sideways manner. And this thing is utterly determined to make me anonymous. I'm Jessie the Jester Queen at http://jesterqueen.com

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    Replies
    1. Thanks. I'll check out your page as well.

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