It's better to be kind than to be right

Be Kind book and Conversation Guides from Love Bonds


A1 (7 year old) and A2 (3 year old) were playing (or rather attempting to be playing) the game of Connect Four, where the aim of the game is to put colored counters (red or yellow) into slots and the one who connects four colors in a row first, horizontally/vertically/diagonally wins. While playing, A1 got rather frustrated when A2 didn't quite understand the rules of the game and was randomly placing counters into the slots. He stood up angrily, spilling the colored counters all over the floor and shouted at A2 in frustration; "A2, you so young you don't know how you play! You are ruining my game!" A2 looked at his older brother in shock and started tearing while A1 stomped off.

Being seated beside them both, I witnessed the whole thing. My immediate thought was to chide A1 for making his brother cry and maybe for being selfish and only thinking of himself. But I took some time to collect my thoughts while comforting A2 in my arms.

While carrying A2, I went to sit beside A1 on the sofa and I hugged him "A1, you are right to say that A2 didn't quite understand the rules. It must be rather frustrating for you to have to play with your brother when he doesn't play according to the rules right?" A1 nodded in tears, breaking down as he must have felt that I understood him. I allowed him to be in my arms for some time while he calmed down. I decided to ask "What do you think would be a kinder way to respond to A2 if it happens again next time?" He responded "I don't know." Haha actually, I don't know either so I laughed at told him "You know son, someone told me once that 'it is better to be kind than to be right' and I think it applies in this situation." He smiled too and volunteered "Maybe I can let him play his own way for a few games then you play with me the correct way after that?" -Serene

I was heartened and also reminded of this important lesson from our episode at home. Have you experienced something similar at home? How did you respond?

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