My little one has now been in kindergarten for about 2 weeks. While I can’t say she has been as enthusiastic as her first day (that’s a whole other post!), I can say that I’ve grown even prouder of her as her journey continues.
Sure I’m proud of her for trying to adjust to such a big change in her routine, but what I’m beyond proud of is her compassion for her fellow classmates.
As a mom, I always hope that the very best of me is rubbed off onto my daughter. And hope that my less than finer characteristics are not remotely in her DNA. With bullying beginning so young, there has been a huge push for kindness awareness. Somewhere along the way, people stopped being kind. Somewhere along the way, people began to think that since you can hide behind an online profile, it’s okay to express nasty thoughts and feelings to others. With watching the younger generations struggle in a way that I had not been exposed to in my own childhood, it made me reflect on my behaviors. It made me want to provide a better example of kindness for my daughter.
So we talk about the importance of being kind, we painted kindness rocks and spread them randomly around for people to find. We donated things to those in need together. To be completely honest though, I questioned whether or not it was wasted at this age. I didn’t know if she understood the true life lesson of kindness. After all, she is still in the stages where it’s not always easy to share and take turns.
However, in her few weeks at school, I realized how much she really is absorbing from everything we’ve talked about and done.
There’s a boy in class who is always crying for his mom. The teacher told me that my daughter would sit next to him, put her hand on his back and tell him to take deep breathes. She would assure him that it would be okay. When she was asked why she thought to do that her response was “When I’m upset or hurt, my mom rubs my back and tells me to breathe. It helps me, so I thought it would help him”. She’s stood up for a little girl who was being told by another girl that her dress was ugly (really? They start that at this age???). She’s helped another girl with navigating the cafeteria, causing her own lunch to go uneaten. When I asked her if that was the reason she didn’t finish her lunch she replied, “I just like helping, Mommy.” How can I fault her for that!
I hope that my little one will keep her compassion for others as the years go by. I hope she will always remember that kindness makes a difference in this world.
And my daughter will always be my constant reminder to do my part in making the world just a little bit kinder. They are listening. They are absorbing. We must be the example.