I started volunteering with the Girl Scouts of America a year ago. It has been a truly rewarding experience for me and I hope I’m involved with the Girl Scouts for a long time to come. The Girl Scouts has not really changed much from how I remember it as a child, a group of girls, in the same age group, working together to accomplish a common goal. What I never noticed before was the similarities between mothers and daughters.
A Girl Scout Leader works closely with mothers and daughters. They are able to observe them, not intentionally though. I observed how much young girls imitate their mothers. What I mean by imitate is whether they act shy, talks loudly, is a kind person, is disrespectful toward others or is an angry person.
Twice a month I meet with a small group of girls and guide them to be leaders and help them to discover the world around them. I also encourage them have confidence in themselves and have the courage to achieve their goals. I show them kindness and respect, and I hope that they will show the same kindness and respect toward others.
My eye opening experience was when a mother was angry with me and showed her anger in front of her daughter and the other mothers and girls in the group. The reason why she was angry is not important here, just that she chose to act this way in front of her daughter and other people. A day later at school her daughter showed this anger toward my daughter. When a parent is unkind and disrespectful towards other people their daughter acts the same way towards other children and adults.
I discussed the situation with my 7-year-old daughter and she understood how it’s not nice to treat people unkindly and that she would not like to be treated that way. The other parents in my group used this situation as a life lesson for their daughters also. I was never unkind to the angry mother, and I tried to understand why she was angry. At the next meeting I asked her to talk with me in private. I told the woman that her actions in front of others was disrespectful and that is not what we are trying to teach girls in the Girl Scouts. I also told her that her daughter’s treatment toward my daughter was uncalled for. We came to some understanding.
I believe that all parents need to be aware that their children act just like they do. If you show kindness towards others, your child will show kindness toward others. If you show anger toward others, your children will show anger toward others. We as parents need to teach our children how to respect others.
If one person does something nice for another person, that person will turn around and do something nice for someone else. It is contagious. The world would be such a better place to live in if everyone treated everyone else with respect.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.