As a grandmother of five wonderful children, you know I worry and fret sometimes (actually..... lots of the time!) But, I am blessed with two kids who are excellent parents....and who believe the world is an awesome place. That's where the right attitude begins! We never considered that the world was cruel. But sadly, people can be cruel and heartless.
My grandkids have learned to be bully proof and lock-down safe and how to dial 911 in emergencies. What is difficult to learn......and best taught by example.....is compassion. Standing up for the underdog, recognizing the difference between good natured teasing and bordering on meaness, how to read people, but not judge.
I'm 100 percent behind the above statement in that we can make a diffference by teaching children how to handle difficult people, uncomfortable situations and unexpected changes or events. Just as we teach personal safety and responsibility, we need to teach kids How.To. Deal. Adults face things everyday; ever wonder if you could have handled it differently? Better? A bit too quick with a smart remark? Judgemental of the poorly dressed or of the Important Person cutting to the front of the line? When I was younger, my mom would say "oh, maybe they have an emergency or what if Daddy's defibrillator went off again?" We'd need to hurry, yes. "The poor people may be down and out ....but still deserve our respect" she'd often say.
My point is...we can teach them to handle difficulties and conflicts they will encounter, but in ways that don't add to the conflict. They can assert themselves firmly, strongly...and still remain pleasant. We've all encountered rude, careless, or clueless people. Ever order at the drive-thru....they repeat it back to you wrong; you correct it (sometimes repeatedly) and often end up driving away with the wrong order anyway. This is a prime spot for kids to observe how YOU deal. Same with traffic; "keep calm and......" fits just about every scenario, don't you think?
Easier said than done, I know. But as the eldest sibling, teacher, mom and grandma....child advocate if you will....I've learned first hand that it begins with US! My father-in-law often repeated the words of an old quote. The line I most recall; "it is still a beautiful world!"