My daughter Chloe has attended school full-time since she was three years old. From day one she has been in a classroom setting with children of all abilities.
This year she started kindergarten. During her fall conference her teacher made a point to tell me Chloe is friends with everyone in the class. This didn’t come as a surprise to me but really warmed my heart. She is the kindest 5-year-old I know, although I may be a little biased.
One thing I have always loved about both schools she has attended is their commitment to teaching children about character and kindness as part of the core curriculum.
Yes, even as a 3-year-old who couldn’t form a full sentence she was part of a character counts class once a week. She would bring home rainbow coloring pages focusing on a different pillar of character. This topic is too important to just skip over, and schools are realizing that now. We need to teach children why this is so important and how to value each other and always show kindness no matter the situation.
As a parent I want my children to be smart, well rounded, resilient, and happy adults. But to me none of those things matter if they are not genuinely kind individuals as well. With kindness comes standing up for what is right, and helping those that may not be able to stand up for themselves.
When my daughter first started 3K she was nonverbal. I would lay awake at night worrying about her being bullied at school and not being able to stand up for herself or tell a teacher. Thankfully she had amazing teachers who were a voice for all students no matter their communication abilities.
However I know not all students are that fortunate. This is why I teach her to be kind and friendly to all students, and to make it her mission to reach out and include someone who may be left out or playing alone. I want her to use her outgoing personality and warm disposition to help others and be a genuine friend to those in need.
See, my daughter was once that child, playing by herself on the outskirts of the playground at recess. She had friends and teachers who would grab her hand and bring her into the game or activity.
To this day I am so thankful for those beautiful souls.
So I am making it my mission to teach my daughter to be that person for someone else. Sometimes it only takes one person who truly cares to brighten another child’s day. I think of it as paying it forward with kindness. I truly believe small daily acts of kindness can make a world of difference in our schools and society in general.
If there is one thing I am sure we all want, it is for our children to grow up in a world full of kindness.