When we stumble upon heartwarming stories, it’s evident that those which genuinely touch our hearts, evoke moments of joy, or prompt an ‘aha’ moment, are destined to find a home right here on our website.


Some time ago a young father was working on his parenting skills specifically for his 3-year-old daughter.

The family was struggling financially and when his daughter wrapped a gift to put under the Christmas tree with very expensive gold wrapping paper, the dad was angry.

He felt she wasted money and realized he needed to teach her the value of money.

Nonetheless, the next morning the little girl brought her daddy the 3-year-old version of a neatly wrapped gold box.

“This is for you, Daddy,” said the little girl.

The Dad’s heart softened, and he was a bit embarrassed by his quick reaction to wasting the gold paper.

Upon opening the box, his anger flared again when he found the box empty.

“Don’t you know that when you give someone a present there’s supposed to be something inside?” he asked with shame in his voice toward the little girl.

The little girl looked up with tears in her eyes and said, “Oh, Daddy, it’s not empty. I filled the box with kisses. I blew kisses into the box because I love you so much.”

All at once, the lesson came full circle for this dad. He deepened his realization that his reactions had nothing to do with his daughter. His reactions were about him and had nothing to do with anyone but himself.

The dad put his arm around his little girl and said he was sorry. He added that he was continually working on how he responds when he feels a reaction. And of course, his little girl forgave him.

The dad kept that gold box by his bed for many years. Whenever he felt sad, discouraged or reactive toward others, he would take out an imaginary kiss and remember the love of his child, who so graciously put it there. That continued reminder that he is in charge of his emotional reactions.

The moral of this story is beautiful. We are responsible for our reactions. We are accountable to say we’re sorry and make amends, especially with our children.

And we are allowed to forgive ourselves as we learn and grow in our most important relationships. Life, after all, comes down to embodying compassion and love within our relationships.

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