My older child is quick to point out my younger one’s mistakes. Any time. Every time. All the time. Needless to say it only adds fuel to the bickering fire and my fire extinguisher has been working overtime this summer. I have had enough. So in the calmest, non-yelling voice this Zen Mama Wannabe has when I feel my buttons being pushed, I announce:
You know, Wayne Dyer talks about when you have a choice to be right or be kind, choose being kind.
My son actually stops talking to listen. He’s interested in Dr. Dyer. I would have never thought to bring him up because, well, my son is 8. It just never occurred to me. But his 2nd grade teacher last year showed me a world of possibilities when she introduced the class to The Four Agreements.
Talking to 7 and 8 year olds about The Four Agreements? I know adults who have never heard of it – and certainly never practiced it. I naturally assumed it was far too over the heads of these young elementary school students. Au contraire. (But then we know what happens when we assume).
You know the background about The Four Agreements, right? How Ellen Degeneres happened to go on and on about it to Oprah while on her show and it just took off from there.
My son took to it like a fish to water. And he shows signs he’s ready for more. Perhaps some Anthony Robbins. Marianne Williamson. Deepak Chopra. And yes, one of my all time favorites, Dr. Wayne Dyer. Can you imagine the world if we taught our children from THOSE teachers?
My son’s teacher had each student write down his or her intention for the week. They learned not to take things personally. To be impeccable with their word. To not make assumptions. And to always do their best. Pretty cool stuff, eh? Is my son an enlightened master? Of course not. He’s 8. (I wish I had that same excuse). But what great material to be exposing them to.
And so I talk about Wayne Dyer almost as if he is a relative of ours (albeit a special one, yet family nonetheless). But I have read all his books and heard him speak (in person, on PBS, on tape) so many times that it does feel as though I know him. I can share some of his stories just as if I was speaking about dear Uncle Joe and the family stories one grows up hearing over and over until they become a part of you as well.
Right now the lesson for us is about being kind. Yes, he may have the right answer and yes, his sister may not be accurate in how she is saying it. But does it REALLY matter? She’s 5. She’s excited just to contribute to the conversation. Can’t we let her – without pointing out (and oh – how he is quick to point out) how she is saying it wrong, or doing it wrong, or mixing it up – and the point of it all (and this is the part that REALLY gets me) is that it was never that important to begin with!
I don’t know how else to get the point across. So right now I am going with this. And hopefully when if my husband flubs up a fact at the dinner table, or my mother mixes things up in a story I have heard one too many times, I too can chose to be kind – instead of making sure they get it right. It’s good stuff for ALL of us to practice.