By Jessica Bouta, Counselor, West Elementary
The hustle and bustle of the holiday season is upon us, often leaving us searching for time with loved ones or for the “perfect” gift. At West Elementary, our students recently started a unit in our social/emotional curriculum, Second Step, about the power of kindness. Our students have learned a kind act is being intentional with words and/or actions to do something nice for someone else. Together we have explored how others feel when they receive kindness and how sharing kindness makes us feel.
Teaching about and practicing kindness takes place throughout the entire year in our building through the use of picture books, modeling kind acts, and classroom discussions. Being kind is also one of our school-wide “Be Rules”. People who regularly practice showing kindness often appear happier, have higher self esteem, and have more meaningful relationships with their peers. They may also show a greater sense of appreciation for the people around them, as well as the things they have.
Here are some simple ways to teach and/or share kindness with your family:
- Use picture books to cultivate a discussion of what kindness can look, sound, and feel like.
- Create a daily kindness challenge as a family with simple ideas and check in at the end of the day to see how the kind act went.
- Have a conversation about what kind acts you and your child witnessed throughout the day and explore how this made the person feel.
- Show your appreciation or thanks when kindness is shared with you.
As we embark on this holiday season, we invite you and your families to join us at West Elementary by being intentional with your time and gifts to show kindness to those around you. Remember that “Kindness is a gift that everyone can afford to give” – Author Unknown.