The other day, wearing my cap led to an interesting exchange with my four year-old daughter in the car:
"Mommy, what do the words on your hat say?"
"They say, 'I took The Mom Pledge.'"
"What is The Mom Pledge?"
"It is a promise moms make to be nice to each other. I wrote it and shared it on the computer, and lots of women have taken it."
"Well, sometimes people are not nice. Especially when they are on a computer. They can forget there is a human being on the other side, when all they see is a screen. The Mom Pledge reminds them how important it is to always be kind."
"Why are some people not nice?"
"That is hard to say. I believe it is because they are hurting inside. And there can be many different reasons for that."
"I don't want to be mean."
"I hope you won't be. You have a very good heart and you are thoughtful, and that makes me proud. Always remember the golden rule - treat others as you want to be treated. And if there ever times when you are hurting inside, I hope you will come to me so we can talk about it."
"OK, Mommy. I will."
Of course, all of the above is much easier said than done. And at four, my daughter is not capable of understanding the complexities of human nature or the dynamics of relationships. But it is never too early to start teaching important lessons.
It is a conversation that needs to begin early and be built upon through the years.
Many women tell me they take The Mom Pledge because of their children. That they want to set the right example. The Pledge reads, in part:
I know my children learn from my attitudes and actions. I promise to model respectful, compassionate behavior. It starts with me.
We all know our children learn from watching us. How important it is that we "walk the walk." But it is also essential that we TALK to our kids about issues. They do need to hear our words.
Have you told your child(ren) about the pledge you have taken?