Last week, in the freezing cold, the eight other kids at the school bus stop stood back to let Julia get on the bus first in order to avoid having her sit with them.  I wanted to do something . . . no, I don’t expect to change THE world or even OUR little corner, but I’d like us to be part of the solution. And so, I put this piece in this week’s school newsletter:

What did you do that was kind today?

Imagine that every parent in our Franklin Randall community asked their child this question at the end of the school day or at the supper table or before they turned out their child’s bedroom light.

What did you do that was kind today?

Our schools do all they can to teach and encourage kindness and to discourage bullying.  My daughter’s teachers at Franklin and Randall have gone far beyond their job descriptions to instill the ideals of inclusion and open heartedness among their students.  And I have often pondered what more can parents do?  How can I reinforce the character building that she is learning at school?

What did you do that was kind today?

This morning I observed once again that the kids on the school bus went to great lengths to avoid sitting with my daughter.

My daughter is one of those kids who will always be picked on and excluded.  Someone will be mean to her perhaps every day for the rest of her life, and she is not the only one.  My heart hurts for her and it also hurts for all the others.  I can’t stop other kids from excluding, segregating and being mean.  As a parent, I’ve felt powerless in the face of mean girls and cool boys.

But I can teach my daughter about kindness.  I can teach her how to create the world that will include, nourish and cherish all people. I want to build on what she is learning at school.  I want her to help bring an inclusive, loving community into existence.

And so, I will begin asking her every day when we sit down to talk about her school day, “What did you do that was kind today?”  I will ask her if she saw anyone who needed kindness, and I will suggest how she might be kind tomorrow.  Further, I will intentionally model kind behavior and I will talk about that behavior with her.

Will you join me?

What did you do that was kind today?