What Doing Lodi Live has Taught Me About Parent

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We all want our kids to be kind. If you ask anyone the laundry list of things they want their kid to be, kind is always in like the top 5. I’m the same way. I’m definitely doing my best, but I feel like a lot of parenting is just doing your best, with the knowledge and resources you have at the time, then crossing your fingers. Every little personality is unique and learning what makes your kid thrive, and how you can support that, is our journey as parents.

I really enjoy doing Lodi Live because I have the joy of working with inspired people who are doing their best to make the world a better, kinder place. Whenever I interview these people, I’m always taking little bits and pieces of their insight and applying it to other spaces in my life. One of those spaces is in my parenting. I always wonder when I’m talking to people what inspired them to do what they do. This is especially true when I talk to kids.

One of my first stories I did involved me talking to some teens about the project they were going to be doing that summer. Every summer these teens drive down to Southern California and do a huge project for others. That summer, these 15 to 17-year-old kids built storage structures for families near San Diego. At the end of the interview I asked the teens if they could change one thing in the world, what would it be? “For everyone to have some type of service, because some people have never served they don’t get the point of why would you want to pay to go somewhere and work and labor. It just makes you feel like such a good human being, and that feeling stays with you for not only just the day after, but that feeling stays with you for a long time, and that’s why you want to go a year from then,” said the 16-year-old I was talking to. I was so struck and I just remember thinking, “Man, I hope I can raise my daughter to be as thoughtful as these kids.”

The biggest thing I notice in all of these kids is that they have parents who are kind. They have parents who are setting great examples for them. I don’t mean to say that all of these kids’ parents are starting nonprofits or attending every single fundraiser. Their parents are doing little things that add up and make a big impact.

I did one story on a little boy who decided he didn’t want gifts for Christmas, he wanted to help people for Christmas. There was a girl at his school with cancer. She was finishing up her chemo and being driven to and from UCSF which made it hard for her parents to do the extra things like decorating for Christmas. So, for Christmas, he told his mom he didn’t want presents. He wanted to put up lights at this girl’s house so that she would have a merry Christmas. I know, I know, SO sweet. His parents are always doing things to show the people around them they are loved. They’re always getting little gifts for teachers, helping with coaching in sports, and so on. Those are the little things that our kids see that influence how our kids treat others. They see their parents showing love for others, and they magnify that behavior.

There’s a lot of pressure in parenthood, especially today with social media, which makes it really easy for us to compare our lives to others. Doing Lodi Live has given me so much confidence in my parenting because I get to interview all of these amazing people and see first hand how you don’t need to be a perfect parent to raise a kind kid. You do your best to set a good example and your kids will notice (even if they’re having some learning curves today). Doing Lodi Live has taught me the best way for me to raise kind kids is to be kind to others in my day-to-day life. Doing little things like holding the door open for the people behind me, leaving a tip, saying something nice to someone else, and random acts of kindness make a bigger impact on my kids than I can imagine. Lodi Live has affected my parenting because it’s taught me to be easier on myself and to be easier on my kids and reinforced that if I want my kids to be kind, all I need to do is be kind to others, in little ways, every day.

Until next time, Do-Gooders! Keep putting more good into the world!

BlogJamie Vilinskas