Elementary school rules for kindness

Day 206 of #LiveWell2017

Day 206 use kind words

The other day I saw a list of elementary school rules for kindness, and it reminded me of my time spent working in elementary schools a long while ago Can’t you just smell the tater tots? Anyway…at one school where I worked the motto was “Work Hard, Be Kind” – a good motto to guide the behaviors of staff and students alike. But what does it really mean. What does working hard and being kind look like?

I got to thinking about how every teacher would spend the first week of school teaching their students the classroom rules and the school rules. Every good teacher knows that those first few weeks are crucial to establishing good classroom management and expectations. The key is to practice and reinforce those rules, not just recite them.

As adults, we all know we are supposed to be kind and treat others well, but we don’t always do so. Living by “the kindness rules” is different from merely admiring them. But one study has shown that toddlers don’t have to be taught kindness – they come by it naturally by paying attention and empathizing. So, somewhere along the way we begin to lose or closet that natural tendency to be kind. We need to practice, even as adults. To pay attention, to slow down our thoughts and actions, to be kind, mindfully, every single day.

So, for the next few days, I’m posting an elementary school rule each day and challenging myself and each of you to practice it – yes, mindfully, purposefully, kindly. Let’s see how it goes. Today, we’ll start with an easy one – use kind words.

For the next 24 hours – or make it a week – use only kind words when you talk with people (and when you think about people). That means you have to pay attention to what you are saying, how you are feeling, what other people are doing, how that affects you, and not talk about other people behind their backs. Sound easy? Maybe. But if you really pay attention to what you say each minute, you might be surprised. Let’s do it.

Use kind words today.

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