Thursday, February 7, 2013

Tentative Parenting : Being Nice a Competitive Advantage?

It is not new news that being nice really pays yet it was heartening to read this article by Hyken today. I was a little "leery" when I saw K2's progress report from school in December - he was below on reading and writing. What his teacher did say was - he is "just so nice" and "just so kind"...he got a solitary VG (very good) for respecting other kids and his environment. Need I say I was an unhappy mom for a few days stewing over the need to teach my kid to be "street smart" India it was intensely competitive...too few kids fighting over scanty resources i.e, school/college seats...K1 told me to take a "chill pill" (whatever that means).

K2 in the past 2 months has improved leaps and bounds on his reading, writing and handwriting...he read a whopping 1097 minutes in 2 weeks (which my mathematically inclined mind calculated at almost 1.5 hours per day consistently for 14 days) - To say I am proud is an understatement!

The important lesson I learnt from my son in this journey is the following -- knowledge and skills are acquired but what stays with us at work and in our personal relationships is -
  1. Showing Respect
  2. Doing what we say...lip service is following through on a commitment is critical
  3. Being polite - with our please's and thank you' becomes almost second nature
At the end of the day you both get more work done and "actually have" friends by being nice...I mean it would be so easy at work to always use 4-lettered words, throw our weight and attitude around and just bang on tables to get things done...I don't think it works in the long run. Fear builds relationships based on transactions which by their very definition are short-term. Now let's hope I can practice this one with K2 - I tend to "not be nice" when under extreme stress ( and more often than not I do bring external stress back home :-( ...)...don't you agree K1, Bapa and Ma ;-)

Have you been nice today?

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