Empathy is a notoriously difficult concept to teach children, perhaps especially when it comes to their parents. When we are constantly going about our days taking care of their needs and (let's face it) making it seem like it's a real laugh-riot, how can we teach our kids to think about how we feel? How tired we get? How much work it really is to be a mom? One mom has clearly done something right, because her son just gets it. Truly, this mom's TikTok video of her son comforting his little brother is the palate cleanser you need to see to get the bad taste of 2020 out of your mouth. This 10-year-old boy's selflessness, his kindness, are what you should cling to when you want to feel hopeful about the future.
Writer and mom of six boys Gloria McIntosh had a real parenting win recently that she was kind enough to share with the world. Her 1-year-old son Greyson had woken up in the middle of the night, and as she explained in her video shared on her TikTok, @GloriaAngelou, "I heard him fussing so I checked the camera to see if he would just fall back asleep."
What she saw instead was her 10-year-old son Mason entering the room. He hugged his baby brother, carried him around, and did his best to get him back to sleep for a full 30 minutes.
A boy comforted his baby brother in the middle of the night so his mom could sleep.
McIntosh wrote that Mason had shown "the best example of love and patience" with Grayson, and that when she came to get the baby and asked her son why he hadn't simply come to wake her, he told his mom that he wanted her to "get some rest because I did a lot that day." She went on to write, "While parenting is not his responsibility, just the fact that he understands that he is his brother's keeper, and considered my long days as a mom, is much appreciated."
Mason's empathy is not just appreciated by his mom, but also by the 17.5 million people who have watched the video since it was posted on Dec. 20. Social media users have left comments like, "When he crawled in the crib I was done for... amazing young man," and, "He is going to be a loving father."
McIntosh tells Romper that she shared the video in hopes of making people smile. "2020 has been tough for everyone," she says, "and I’m glad my family can put out positive vibes for people to smile to."