Teaching kindness …


Today’s Kai’s first day of school. He goes to a Montessori school, so he’s in the same classroom with the same teacher and a lot of the same kids. He’ll be with all of them for two more years until he’s six.

Last year, he was three and one of the youngest in his class. One of the boys said he was a baby and it really bothered him – still bothers him months later.

So, last night Alex and talked with him about how there are going to be new kids in his class (some of which will be three – and they are NOT babies). We explained to him that some of the new kids may be nervous this morning because they don’t know anybody and don’t have any friends yet. Alex and I set up mock scenarios to teach Kai how to introduce himself and make friends with the new kids. We had him remember his first day and how he was scared because he didn’t know anyone.

One idea we had was for Kai to give one of his silly bandz to a new kid to help him/her feel welcome. At first, he didn’t want to do it – giving up a silly band is a tough thing to do for a four year old. But, I gave him a little incentive (or a bribe, some may call it): give a new kid a silly band and I’ll give you two in return. (I’m giving silly bands to him when he does extra good things around the house.)

When we walked into his classroom, I asked one of the teachers who the new children were. She pointed three of them out to me. Two of them were already talking with the other kids. One of them, a six-year-old girl, was sitting by herself looking kind of scared and shy. I pointed her out to Kai. He walked up to her and without saying anything shoved the silly band at her. I explained to one of his teachers what he was trying to do, so we went over and facilitated the conversation between the two of them. I encourage Kai to say, “Hi, I’m Kai” and then I slipped out so the teachers could start their day and help the kids become friends.

I walked out of the room teary-eyed and so proud of my little guy for doing his part to help a little girl feel welcome in his class.

This is my goal: to teach Kai to be kind to others. I think that’s the most important lesson I can ever teach him.

To see more of Kai in is Montessori classroom, click here.

To see a way for you to spread kindness today, click here to see Operation Beautiful.


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