Beyond the Backpack: Add Kindness to the Back-to-School List

With the summer heat reaching record highs, it’s hard to believe it’s time for our kids to go back to school!

…Yet here we are, racing against the timeline of the tax-free holiday to finish up back to school shopping and ready our kids for the start of the new school year. Between shopping for classroom supplies and back-to-school haircuts, the to-do list feels like it may never end!

We would like to add an important item to that list, though, and it’s one that will pay off all school year long and beyond — fostering a culture of kindness at school. Sadly, around 20% of children aged 12-18 report being bullied at school. By encouraging kindness and empathy at home, you can promote a safe and respectful atmosphere at school.

Equipping Your Child with Kindness Skills:

Kindness truly begins at home. Children often learn how to treat friends by watching their parents’ interactions with others. As parents, we can lay the groundwork for kindness. By fostering empathy and emotional intelligence through everyday interactions, we empower our children to understand and support others. Additionally, fostering healthy friendships and social skills will play a vital role in nurturing kind-hearted individuals.

Partnering with Teachers to Foster Kindness:

Building a strong partnership with your child’s teachers is crucial for creating a culture of kindness. Engage in open communication about your child’s social experiences at school, and work collaboratively on kindness-focused activities and initiatives. Together, we can reinforce the values of compassion both at home and in the classroom.

Empowering Your Child to Be an Upstander:

Encouraging our children to stand up against bullying and negative behavior is instrumental in building a supportive school community. By providing them with the tools to respond to such situations with empathy and courage, we instill the confidence to make a positive difference.

Instilling Inclusivity and Respect for Diversity:

Promoting inclusivity at home sets the stage for a harmonious school environment. By valuing diversity and engaging in conversations about different cultures and backgrounds, we foster understanding and appreciation for one another’s unique perspectives.

Addressing Cyberbullying and Online Behavior:

In the digital age, it is essential to educate our children about responsible online behavior. Monitoring their online activities and discussing the importance of being respectful digital citizens will contribute to a positive virtual environment.

Supporting School Initiatives for Kindness:

Getting involved in kindness campaigns and school events sends a powerful message to your child about the significance of kindness. By volunteering and offering support for school-wide programs, we actively participate in shaping a compassionate community.

Building a Kindness Network with Other Parents:

Connecting with fellow parents who share the same commitment to kindness creates a supportive network. By organizing playdates and social events that promote kind interactions among children, we strengthen the foundation of compassion.

Measuring the Magic:

Keep an eye out for kindness sparkles! Notice how your child blossoms with all the love and kindness around them. Chat with teachers and school staff to see the impact. Kindness is like a boomerang—what you throw out there comes right back!

Together, as a dedicated community, we can create a culture of kindness in our schools. By equipping kids with the skills to be kind-hearted individuals, collaborating with educators, and fostering inclusivity, we ensure a safe and nurturing environment for every child. Embracing the values of kindness, empathy, and respect, we empower our children to thrive academically and emotionally.

Remember, it’s not just about what’s in that backpack—what truly matters is the kindness we carry in our hearts. Let’s continue our journey of cultivating a culture of kindness, hand in hand, making a lasting impact on their school experience and beyond.