Teaching Friendship and Kindness Through Literature
I was privileged to read my first children’s book, “Together, We Are Winners!” to an awesome group of second graders at Aulander Elementary Stem School. It is always an honor to deposit positive seeds that will spread, grow with, and into the lives of children, causing transformation and positive outcomes. What better place to inspire and encourage children? School! It is our commitment to help them better understand the importance of making school and community a connected place where friendship, and acceptance of others are cool and smart. I believe, that we can eradicate “bullying,” through the positive forces of good, through our demonstration of good and kindness towards all humanity. We must consistently teach it, preach it, sing it, and shout it from the mountain top, that it’s good to be good, that it’s cool to be kind, and that it’s really okay to practice the “Golden Rule.” The question is always posed, “what is that rule?” and “do I have to be good or care about everybody?” My answer is always, absolutely! Even, when it’s not so deserving…we must be good, we must be kind and have compassion. To understand why we care, show kindness and goodness to one another is a golden lesson, that I know for sure is well worth my 45 minutes in a classroom of elementary students.
For me, the benefits of sharing, as well as receiving from students, is always encouraging, edifying, and a poignant reminder that we all can learn, unlearn and relearn. During reading time, children also learn that they must first, “like” and “care” about themselves, before friendship, being good, and caring about the feelings of others begin. Oh, boy, do I get the raising of eyebrows and hands, when it is communicated that love and goodness comes from within, and then shared. I’ve heard everything from, “I love me” to “huh” and “why?” The joy of raised eyebrows and hands signifies that they are opened to hearing an answer to their many, many questions.
One thing is for sure, all children are born with hidden treasures, talents, and great purpose. As parents, it is our golden responsibility to assist and support them in defining, developing and managing those treasures. Showing and teaching them how to show kindness and goodness to others is paramount to their success as human beings. Our guidance and positive reinforcement is a must in their lives.