Mila’s school is a “kind campus.”
I really don’t know much about what that means, other than that the administration and staff work really hard to encourage and reward students for being kind to one another. Maybe it’s a district-wide program? Maybe it’s just the principal? I don’t care because no matter how “official” it is, it. Is. Awesome.
I mean, there’s lots to love about her school, but this one aspect has surprised me in the most beautiful ways.
We already make a point of teaching kindness at home. I believe that home—not school or church or anywhere else—is where most of us learn our values, either through good examples or bad. David and I are pretty intentional in modeling our own values: generosity, hard work, creativity, unconditional love, etc. Kindness has always been near the top of our list.
And then we find out that the elementary school is gently reinforcing the good stuff we try to teach at home. What more could a parent want?
Two weeks ago each student in Mila’s class made a “kindness rock.” Unfortunately she came home early with a painful ear infection before her kindness rock was dry, and then there was the long weekend, so she didn’t get to bring it home till Tuesday.
And BOY HOWDY was she excited to bring that thing home and tell us ALL about it!
Her kindness rock is a smooth stone with a tissue paper heart mod-podged onto it. Since she made it, she got to give it away first. When she saw someone doing something kind on Tuesday, she made a mental note. Then at dinner, she presented that person with the kindness rock and acknowledged what they’d done.
It was so sweet.
(I’m not just saying that because she gave it to me, either.)
Margot has been especially excited about the kindness rock. She’s already a pretty good sister, but she’s gone out of her way to do nice things for both Ryan and Mila this past week. Homegirl really wants to earn that rock.
The kindness rock has given us another opportunity to recognize the good things our children do every day. Positive reinforcement forever, amirite? Plus, since kindness has so many variations, it’s almost a game now for us to identify different ways of being kind to one another. Helping clean up a mess. Giving a hug. Listening intently. Sharing a toy. Giving a compliment. Encouraging someone to try again. Celebrating another person’s victory.
The more different things we do to “earn” the kindness rock, the more we open our children’s eyes to all the ways we can show love.
I never expected a kindness rock to become part of my parenting bag of tricks, but here I am wondering what kind thing my beasties will do today. You won’t hear me complain.
(351 + 253 + 120 weeks)