Here are two women’s perspectives on children. One is a mother of two teens
and a four year old. The second one is a short essay on how to create more
sensitive children towards others. It made me feel her warmth and kindness,
just in the way she expressed herself.
These are some adorable conversations taken down in a notebook, by a
mother named Kristy Eckert. She is the editor of a local magazine called,
Kristy Eckert begins with this statement:
“Life with a four year old is never dull.”
Here is her son, Cooper’s view on baseball,
when a neighbor 4 year old girl had had 78
attempts already to hit a ball:
“O.K. – – you’re Out!”
Then, an exchange went on like this:
“She is not ‘out.’ She gets to keep trying.”
“It’s three strikes and you’re out. She’s had
“I know, but she is learning.”
Cooper’s exasperated comment:
“This is not about learning! This is about
hitting and running!”
Then, another baseball infatuation; this time
about the first girl pitcher to win a game at
the Little League World Series, Mo’ne Davis:
Cooper: I wish I could marry her.”
When Cooper looked at his college brother’s
tattoo with Ohio roots:
“Momma, do you know how to spell Tony Stark?”
Cooper’s momma replied:
“O.K., that’s what I want my tattoo to say.”
Interpersonal relations conversation between
Cooper and his Dad:
Cooper: “Do you know that when guys buy girls
flowers, they take off their clothes?”
(This happened after a suggestive commercial
Daddy: “I wish it were only that easy, buddy.”
When meeting his big sister’s (who is 16) boyfriend:
“I don’t want any kissing- – even if you get married and
he becomes your wife!” (Oops, may need a reminder
of boys becoming husbands…)
When subjects may be changed:
Cooper’s Dad asked his wife, in front of Cooper:
“How many time-outs do you think Cooper has had in
his life? Over One-thousand?”
Cooper’s Momma’s answer:
“No, but definitely in the hundreds.”
“Hey, guys. . . who wants to talk about Jesus?”
Kristy Eckert writes a column in the “Columbus Parent”
now called: “The Modern Momma.”
There is a Yiddish woman who is named Mimi Brodsky Chenfeld.
She is a fascinating senior citizen of Columbus and wrote some
interesting words on the subject of “love.”
The “Columbus Parents” newspaper named the column for Ms.
Chenfeld, “Mimilochen.” This Yiddish term is for “mother tongue”
is actually, “mamlochen.” They adapted the word ‘to represent the
wisdom of Columbus arts educator, author and all-around inspiration.’
Ms. Chenfeld mentions using her “decades of being with children of
all ages and backgrounds” as her resource for this essay. Wishing to
pass on her wisdom on the subjects of empathy, compassion and love.
Here is her profound advice:
“Young children especially listen very closely to the adults in
their lives and watch every move adults make.
They listen to your tone of voice, the words you say.
They notice body language, facial expressions, silences.
When you pass a piece of litter on the street and walk by,
they notice indifference.
When you don’t stop to help someone needing help, they
When a charity solicitation arrives by phone, they see if
you abruptly hang up.
If someone arrives to share a problem or difficult experience
with you, children see how you react.
If you half-listen, show little concern, they notice.
They learn from everything you do and say or don’t do and
If we want our children to become caring, empathetic, loving
people not just on special occasions but always: We must
become role models.”
Mimi Brodsky Chenfeld gave a quotation, whose author is
“The best way to share an idea is to wrap it up in a person.”
An example given of a real situation, which appeared simple
on the outside, but made a huge impact on a child was given.
When a mother, her child and their dog had just moved to a
new neighborhood they went on a walk. They saw a truck stop
several times along their road while they talked about the new
location and fun park nearby. A delivery truck slowly passed
The driver rolled down his window, asking if the woman would
mind holding on to a package for one of her new neighbors.
She answered, “Of course.”
As the delivery person handed her the package, he commented
that he had asked three other people to keep it safe until the
people came home. All had declined to do so.
The child remembers this, grew up and used this example of
a ‘random act of kindness.’ Along with her mother packing up
bags of clothes to donate, taking food to a food pantry, helping
a neighbor and listening with kindness to a stranger.
She remembers when a polite, “No, I cannot donate at this time,”
was gently given, instead of a hung up telephone call.
I remember my Dad helping to change flat tires on highways,
mostly when he saw the people were older and more frail.
I also know that when he saw a neighbor building a shed, he
offered to hold up the walls and complete the job with him.
These are memories which helped to teach me compassion.
My Mom donated her time to several charities, but my main
pride was in her being a volunteer Head Start teacher for
two summers in a basement of an inner city church, with my
two brothers and I being her ‘assistant teachers.’ This was
long before Head Start became a subsidized program with
paid teachers and staff.
Do you have any positive childhood memories of parents or
yourself helping a neighbor?
How about some funny story about your child, niece, nephew
or yourself while young?
I remember my father and grandfather watching a holiday
football game around 1963. I was impatiently waiting for the old
television series, “Petticoat Junction” to come on, following
When I wandered into my grandparents’ living room I stood
with my eight-year old hands on my hips I was upset because
there was an “instant replay.”
My Dad told this story, ‘on me,’ so many times, I ‘never lived it
down.’ I could not count on both hands the number, even to my
boyfriends later on in life, who were ‘jocks’ or sports followers.
I said, in an exasperated tone,
“Not only are football games long and tiresome, but this one is
going in slow motion!”
I remember enjoying Art Linkletter’s television show,
“Kids Say the Darndest Things.” I don’t think what I said would
have been funny enough to put on the show, but my family sure
did enjoy my indignation.
Let’s enjoy hearing about your parents’ positive memories
of giving back or paying forward. Along with examples of your
own silly expressions or your child, niece, nephew or relative
who said something funny and it became a family ‘joke’ to
retell over and over again.