As a former teacher turned parent, I thought I would share some ideas we emphasize with our boys related to school. I could make a list of 100, but these are some of the ones I find myself repeating often.
- Be kind to everyone, but not everyone will be kind to you.
- You will hear things (bad things) you should not repeat. Just because other kids think it is okay to say something, doesn’t mean you should, too.
- That kid who struggles in math, reading, or spelling? Don’t think less of him or her. We all have our struggles, but it is especially hard for kids who struggle with school work, because everybody knows about it. Try to help them. Be patient. Be an encourager.
- If you do well, don’t brag. It’s good to be proud of yourself, but it is not okay to make others feel bad because of your success.
- It is never okay to use your fists to solve a problem, but it is always okay to defend yourself. Even if the child who tries to hurt you has special circumstances, you must protect yourself. It is never acceptable for someone to physically harm you.
- Show respect to all grown-ups from the custodian to the principal. Everyone who works in the school does hard work. Appreciate that work. Follow their directions.
- If a grown-up makes you uncomfortable, be sure to tell mom or dad. Maybe their words are unkind or their actions make you feel funny. Always let us know so we can help you.
- The kid that the other kids tease? Well, you be their defender. Stick up for them and remind your friends with your words to keep mean thoughts to themselves. Find ways to make him or her feel good.
- And the bully? Remember they are probably fighting a hard battle. Maybe they are mistreated at home or something in their life has made them very sad. Maybe they act out to make up for things they can’t do. Do your best to be gentle with them. When they do things that hurt your feelings, use your words to tell them how it makes you feel. Be sure to tell your teacher or your parents if things don’t get better.
- Do your best. We don’t care whether your grades are perfect so long as we know that you have given 100% effort. Sometimes even the best effort doesn’t earn an A.
What are some things you emphasize with your kids? I’d love to hear!