Cleveland mom trying to teach her daughter a life lesson gets an even better one from stranger

Brea Schmidt says a stranger made her daughter's day at a local carnival.

July 26, 2017, 8:10 AM
PHOTO: A little girl was taught a lesson in kindness when she was having trouble winning a doll at a local carnival.
A little girl was taught a lesson in kindness when she was having trouble winning a doll at a local carnival.
Courtesy Brea Schmidt

— -- A mom trying to teach her young daughter a life lesson at a local carnival got an even better one from a stranger.

Brea Schmidt is a Cleveland-based writer, photographer, and mom of three children ages 5, 3 and 1. On Friday, she wrote on Facebook that her daughter had been desperately trying to win a doll at the carnival.

"Every time we tried, we lost," Schmidt wrote. "Each time, she sweetly asked for another dollar for another try, until it got to the point where it had been enough."

"She knew it was her last dollar, and on the very last ticket she had, she opened it slowly, holding it up close to her face to peek inside and see if the magic number was there. But it wasn't. Again," Schmidt added.

Her daughter, as Schmidt put it, was "exhausted" and sobbing from her disappointment.

As much as Schmidt wanted to give her another dollar to try again, she felt it was time for a "life lesson speech. The one about not winning all of the time. About accepting that there are things that you want, and no matter hard you try, you still might not get them. The one about appreciating all of the dollars from Nana, Papa, and Mommy that even let her play in the first place."

But then another mom who saw the crying girl walked up and told the 5-year-old she would give it a try for her.

"She says, 'You know what, honey, I have a dollar and I'm going to give it another try for you,'" Schmidt wrote. "The woman grabbed a dollar from her personal wallet, snags the three-for-$1 ticket from the bucket of tickets and no joke, opened a winning ticket."

The woman promptly gave her prize to Schmidt's daughter, who was elated.

That stranger's kindness also taught Schmidt a lesson, she said.

"When I see the doll, I'll remember the day that kindness went viral and I'll use that lesson to remind me how important it is to instill kindness in my kids so that they are the kind of people who will seek out opportunities to share it," Schmidt told ABC News.

She said she hopes that her daughter will remember how great it felt when someone chose to be kind to her when she was upset.

"As she heads into her school-age years, I want her to be a person who recognizes when someone else is having a tough moment or looks like they need a friend, and that she will want to step in and give them that same feeling she had when that woman shared her kindness with her," she added.

Schmidt said the family plans to pay the kindness forward by donating many of the kids' stuffed toys.

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