In this exclusive “Reflecting on Kindness” series, Ponysitters Club members reflect back on moments from episodes that allowed them to express different forms of kindness.
In this week’s journal entry, Skye demonstrates kindness through the themes of leadership, teamwork, self-confidence, compromise, and asking for help. She shares how these themes allowed her to express kindness by accepting shortcomings without anger or sadness, asking for help when needed, and empathetic conflict resolution.
As the leader of the Ponysitters, Skye has a uniquely challenging role. Others look to her for direction and when things don’t go smoothly they look to her for a solution. Luckily for her, and as shown in “Teamwork Trouble” (S01E06), she has leaders that she can look up to in the form of her mom and grandpa whom she can reach out to for advice. Good leaders need to examine themselves critically, but they need to ask for outside feedback too.
What a day! I feel like the Ponysitters are a tighter group who understand each other a bit better after today, but we had to go through a rough patch to get there. Running into a coyote on the trail wasn’t even the biggest part of the day! Let me tell you all about it.
So, Ethan has been showing up late for Ponysitters Club meetings for a while now. I didn’t want to make a big deal about it, but this time he wasn’t even paying attention after he finally did show up. On top of that, Trish and Olivia starting fighting about who was going to do which task to help with making the Rescue Ranch more accessible to people with disabilities. I was trying to stay calm and help resolve the issue, but there was just too much going on at once and I got overwhelmed. I didn’t feel like a very good leader — aren’t I supposed to be the one who helps solve problems instead of letting them get worse?
I let everyone go off and do their tasks and hoped it would be okay while I took Puzzle for a walk through the woods. We were enjoying a nice quiet walk together when out of nowhere we got stopped in the middle of the trail by a coyote! I love all animals of course, but my only thought at that moment was to try to stay calm, protect Puzzle, and get the coyote to leave. Luckily I remembered mom teaching me that coyotes are more afraid of you than you are of them, and to make your body look big and make noises to scare them away. Sure enough, he ran away and Puzzle and I were free to go check on everyone else’s progress.
It was just as I had feared — Olivia and Trish were still fighting, and Ethan came from soccer practice to let us know that he had too much on his plate to keep working at Rescue Ranch with us! Now I felt like an ESPECIALLY bad leader. I knew I needed help, and I needed to tell mom about the coyote incident, so I went and told her what was going on. She reminded me of a few things, and what stuck with me most was that being a leader is about seeing how your group’s personality differences fit together. She was so right — I had been so focused on assigning tasks and trying to solve conflicts that I forgot to encourage the Ponysitters to play to their strengths!
Once we all met up, made up, and had a talk about our strengths, we agreed that we’d put our heads together and figure out a way to convince Ethan’s dad to let him stay in the Club. And sure enough, just as soon as we got back to working together like we know we can, we got his soccer team to practice at the Ranch and totally saved the day!
I always knew the Ponysitters would get back to being the Ponysitters, but sometimes it takes a bit of hardship to remind us who we really are. Sometimes you’ve got to ask for help to see what you’re missing too — I definitely need to remember that one. Talk to ya later, diary!
Did you know that kids can become a real member of the Ponysitters Club? Learn how to join and be sure to inspire your kids to be doers by downloading the 4‑H Inspire Kids to Do Activity Guide!