I'm going to be candid today because it deserves it. Some may not agree with any or all of this. I'm cool with that.
I try every day before school to talk to my girls about being kind. I say to be kind to other kids and respect and listen to your teachers. Above all in this life, I want my children to be kind. Even if that means being kind to a fault. Choosing kindness, I believe, will always come back to you twofold at some point. It may or may not be immediate. And it may even cause you more hardship in the short run. Maybe you will get taken advantage of in some way. Maybe people will use your kindness to their advantage. Maybe.
But modeling and demanding kindness and respect out of my children is not something I will ever compromise. You may think how can I say that now? My kids are little....they haven't been through teen years, etc. I can say without hesitation that I will ALWAYS teach my kids kindness and respect and will not tolerate any less. I don't care if you get called weak. I don't care if you get called fake or whatever other silly thing someone can come up with. Demanding and modeling these traits will not only carry over from how you treat friends, but if you respect your teachers, your efforts in their classrooms will reflect that also, even if you don't get stellar grades. And if you learn to respect others it will carry over to the court or field in sports, even if you don't always come out the winning team on the scoreboard. And learning to respect other will also carry over into the rest of your life...work, family, dealing with life in general.
And it starts with parents. It's so easy to spew hate and "opinions" about blacks, hispanics, people of other religions, people of different abilities, our neighbors, other community members in this present environment. We may think we're just talking....but our kids are listening. Children are not born to be prejudice and hate others. That is a learned behavior. You don't think they're listening and watching...think again.
Who am I to tell other people how to parent? Yes, sure....but when this sort of behavior exhibits itself in a child and it intersects with my child, it is partly my business. I refuse to teach my children to react with anger or retaliation. But the behavior shouldn't have happened in the first place. We don't function by ourselves in this world. We are not in a bubble of our own families and opinions and beliefs. We must learn to tolerate, love and be kind. Even if I don't agree with people, it does NOT mean that we can not be kind and civil with one another. We hold other human beings beyond our circle of influence with such little regard these days. Stop being so scared of everything. Stop being so offended by everything. Being scared and constantly offended only leads to words and actions that are not kind or respectful.
Today was a sad day for me. Will it be monumentally impactful to our lives? No. But it just shouldn't be what our school staff spends their day dealing with. I wish to give thanks to people at our school, and schools across the country, who work to try to undo the things these kids hear and see at home..and then live out and say at school. That they will not accept these things as "how kids are." Today, especially, I am grateful for that. So it's up to parents to be the example. I will rarely be upset with a child. A child who is just saying and doing what they hear and see from those at home. We must do better.