Trishna's Video: Thirty Days That Changed My Daughter

Posted by Meghna Banker on Feb 20, 2017
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[Below is a short video excerpt of Trishna's talk at Gandhi 3.0, where she shares the touching story of how a kindness challenge transformed her and her daughter. I'm not sure how many of you know, but Trishna has an incredible anchor for bringing the spirit of personal transformation to parenting -- she has been a role model for many young mothers, like myself.]

My older daughter Sareena, who's now 6 years old, went through of a "rough behavior patch" -- as kids often do.  I was thinking to myself, "What do we do?  What do we do?"  Obviously, you can't just tell a kid how to be. That's not how they learn.

Suddenly, one day I wondered, "What if we do 30 days of kindness together?" That's not really the kind of thing most people think of doing when their kid is misbehaving, but while picking her up from school one day, I asked her, "What do you think about doing a 30 day kindness challenge?" And she replied, "Yeah! Lets do it."

So we did it.  Sareena and I.  Every night, when our did our nightly circle, we wrote down what both our acts of kindness were.  I kept this little log on my phone.  

Besides what she actually did, there were so many other beautiful things that happened.  We noticed such a shift in her entire outlook. Instead of thinking about herself, she was now thinking about other people. Her tantrums had kind of come down, her joy had come up and she was tuning into herself again.

Sweetest part was that she would surprise me with these random and unexpected moments of kindness!

One time, I was picking her up from school.  It was Christmas time.  Outside, someone was selling home baked Christmas cookies in a little pack.  To be honest, I was trying to avoid that table since kids eat enough of all these things! Sareena, however, dragged me across 5 different rows of people saying that, "No, no! I see something over there!  Let's go see what it is." She begged and pleaded with me that we have to buy a pack of these cookies. With my mom hat on, I was trying to stand my ground but eventually, I caved in since it was creating a scene. "Okay, let's just buy these cookies and go home!"

So we buy these cookies and as we are walking out of the school gates, Sareena says, "Mommy, you know what?  I didn't actually buy those cookies for myself. I wanted to give them to somebody."

Somewhat caught off guard, I double check: "You wanted to give somebody cookies?"  She's got a super sweet tooth, and she loves cookies.  In amazement, I heard her reply, "Yes, I want to give these to the security guard over there."

She walked over and wished the guard 'Merry Christmas' and handed him this bag of cookies.

The guard himself was surprised and he had this huge smile on his face.  He told her, "You wont believe it, but we just had a baby today!  Thank you!" :)

Sareena herself was surprised, not really expecting the serendipity of the security guard!

It's moments like these that remind me how ServiceSpace values aren't just reserved for projects or retreats -- they become so seamlessly infused in our everyday lives.   

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Comments (2)

  • Sanchi Chandna wrote ...

    I have shared this story with so many of the local ecosystem friends working with children!!! So many!!

  • Trupti Pandya wrote ...

    I was so moved by your sharing. I often think of doing these challenges within the children's home where I work but I had my own doubts. After reading this I am surely going to try with them. Thank you for sharing :-)