Parenting is definitely not easy. Many of those who find themselves having to raise the world’s next generation have endless stories of times when we nearly pulled all the hair out of our heads in frustration. How do you know when you’re raising your kid the right way? Is there even a right way to raise a child? How can you be sure you will not mess up somewhere along the way? These are the kinds of questions that plague mothers and fathers all over the world.
But there are times when you just know you’re doing something right. You just know that your children are going to grow up to become, not only upstanding members of society, but also loving and compassionate human beings.
Tionae Thomas was lucky enough to have one of these reassuring moments of epiphany not too long ago. She had a moment when she just realized she was doing something right with the way she was raising her daughter.
On a hot summer afternoon, she happened to be driving home, and her 14-year-old daughter was in the passenger’s seat. She expected nothing but for it to be a routine humdrum of a day where they would drive home without much happening. But they had covered only a fraction of the distance home when her daughter noticed something outside the window: There was an elementary school child sitting alone under a tree near a shopping center.
Tionae’s daughter immediately showed great concern for the child, even though he was a mere stranger to her.
She said to her mother, “It’s too hot, momma. Stop the car.”
She was worried about the child’s safety out there in the heat. She got out of the car walked closer to the boy, but not too close as to frighten him. Then she asked, “Where are your parents?” The boy, it turned out, had no idea where his parents were. He was stranded.
“Can you call them?” then she asked. And to that, the boy responded that he only knew his dad’s number. What Tionae’s daughter did next was nothing short of heart-warming. As you must know, most millennials consider their phones to be their most prized possession. They would more easily hand over credit cards than their phones. But Tionae’s daughter did not skip a beat in taking out her phone and extending it to the little boy so that he could call his parents.
The 14-year-old’s kindness did not end after the boy had called his parents. She was still concerned about what would happen to the boy if he stayed right there waiting for his parents to finally get to him. So she kindly advised him that it would be best if he got off the street and instead went to the nearby Rite Aid, where he would be much safer. She was worried that some harm might come to him. So she told him to stay closer to the store where he could easily run inside if there was any danger.
For most people, all she did for him until that point would be more than enough kindness for one day. But not for Tionae’s daughter. Her integrity and her concern were so sincere that she went as far as suggesting to her mother that instead of leaving the boy to his own devices and heading home, they should wait there with him until he was safe with his parents.
“Momma, let’s wait until he gets picked up,” she said, “I might need to get him some water soon if it’s not soon.” If this 14-year-old’s behavior did not show that she had the kindest and purest of hearts, then there’s no telling what would.
Tionae says the most important thing she got from this entire experience was a boost of confidence. What her daughter did allowed her to trust herself and to believe in her own skills as a parent.
The difficulty of parenting comes in many forms, and often, parents have to face criticism from all angles. They have other parents criticism them, strangers in grocery stores throwing glances, and sometimes parents even find themselves dwelling in self-criticism. Experiences like the one Tionae had are rare blessings that come along to give parents just the confidence they need to keep doing their best and to keep molding their children into brilliant human beings.
“This is why I will never let a person tear me down as a mother. This is just confirmation of the kind of children I’m raising, queens and kings.” These were the final words in Tionae’s Facebook post where she shared her heartwarming story.