It’s 5:00 AM. The alarm goes off. Whether or not you find a cup of coffee the best thing about waking up, you pull yourself out of bed and get on with your morning routine.
Shower. Check. Devotion. Check. Breakfast. Check. Backpacks. Check.
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. – Colossians 3:12
And like that, you’re off. Perhaps you drop your kiddos off during your morning commute. Or maybe your children walk or are bussed to school. No matter which way they get where they’re going, you send them off into the world hoping they return safe and without injury.
Many days they do return just as we hope. Their hair may be a little messy or they have a new hole in their pants (another story for another day), but they come home happy, healthy, and ready for a snack.
Then, there are days that are not so great.
And the second is like it: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” – Matthew 22:39
Day in and day out, children find themselves facing hurtful words and enduring abusive behavior. I was one of those students. Perhaps you were as well. No matter how much we try to affirm the “sticks and stones” adage, it’s not always true. Words can hurt.
That’s why it’s imperative that we make sure our children are affirmed each and every day. Rick Warren reminds us that words also heal. It’s important for our children to know that they are strong and beautiful and smart and kind and funny and courageous and … well, you get the gist.
All the words of my mouth are just; none of them is crooked or perverse.
– Proverbs 8:8
It’s also important that we remind our children that they have the power to be different by showing the love of Christ. Remind your kids that kindness is simple. They can show kindness by:
- playing with someone who is alone on the playground
- sitting with the kid who is eating alone
- saying hello to the kids no one else talks to
- sharing with the person sitting next to them
- helping a classmate with schoolwork
- comforting someone who may be having a bad day
- giving someone a high-five when they do something great
Being kind might seem hard, but it’s really not. And it produces so many wonderful results.
If you’re creating a culture of kindness in your home or church, here are some books that can help:
The Berenstain Bears Respect Each Other
The Berenstain Bears Do the Right Thing
The Berenstain Bears Play a Fair Game
The Berenstain Bears Stand Up to Bullying