Today’s guest post is from Kortney Peagram, PhD, the founder of Bulldog Solution, which aims to eradicate bullying through social boldness, kindness and connection. Kortney has also been a friend and parenting touchstone for years. I’ve always loved the mix of positivity and practicality, which is evident in her tips below on how to increase kindness in your home during this back-to-school season.
Her advice reminds me of the quote by Lao Tzu: “Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.”
When it comes to school, we think school supplies, new clothes, books, meal prep, and after school activities. We often forget to plan for the emotional wellness of our children. Sometimes getting our kids up and going can be the most challenging task. But what if we started adding in small acts of kindness to help our children thrive throughout the school day? Below are some tips to increase kindness in your home as you prep for back to school.
Focus on the Positive
Write positive affirmations on your children’s bathroom mirror, fridge, or in their room. Make it visible and have them recite these affirmations.
- I am strong
- I am smart
- I am funny
- I am a good friend
- I am athletic
- I am brave
- am important
- I love __________ about me
- I am beautiful
Make a Note
Put a small handwritten note in their lunch: Wish them good luck on their first day. Share a joke, quote, or tell them how proud you are of them. Do it weekly or daily. It is a small gesture that can make a world of a difference, especially if your child is having a rough day.
Put your phone down and be more present
Try to stay off your phone the first 30 minutes of the day.
Buy an alarm and charge your phone in a common room, so you are not drawn to it. Stay off of social media in the morning. We tend to waste time scrolling and we are not being present.
Do a quick check-in at night
Find out what was the best and worst part of your child’s day! Stay away from yes/no questions.
Here are some examples of questions to ask:
- What was the best part of your day?
- What was the worst part of your day?
- Who did you play or talk to at recess/lunch?
- What did you do that was kind or nice?
- What did someone do for you that was kind or nice?
- What do you want to do differently tomorrow?
Have a day or block of time, where everyone in your family is tech free. Phones and tablets away. Spend time connecting as a family. Do a game night, family dinner, or family outing without technology! Bring an old school camera if you must take a picture, or just spend that time making memories versus capturing them for others.
Connect with your kid
I have talk time with my daughter. Before we go to school, it is just her and me. We talk about what she is looking forward to, what she can do to be kind or helpful, and what her day looks like. It helps her visualize her day and helps her think of simple acts of kindness. I then share about my day. Sometimes I need to go first to get her thinking. By making this a habit, it helps set the tone for the day.
These are some little tips to help you start the school year on the right foot with easy hacks to be kind and present. When we are able and willing to listen to our children we can help them prevent and intervene with bullying and peer conflict. For more resources or tips, please check us out at: Bulldog Solution.