Every school year, without fail, some sort of social drama goes down.
Often, my kids are on the receiving end of it.
But sometimes, they dish it out too.
My boys are kind, empathetic people. But every so often, they just LOOSE. THEIR. MINDS. about how to treat people. And their classmates and friends will occasionally forget kindness too.
Which is why the “How To Treat People” talk - or series of talks, really - is part of our Back To School Prep routine.
Like most of us, my boys can prattle on about how important it is to be nice to everyone. But that’s like going to church; reciting the right words is great, but if you are not living the moral lessons out in life, you’re missing the point.
My boys and I talk about how to be kind when you don’t want to be. How do you act nice when you feel justified in being mean or excluding someone? How can you remember to act kindly to someone when you feel hurt or annoyed? We discuss possible scenarios for the lunchroom, on the playground, while waiting in line. (Because these seem to be the places where kid conflicts flouish!)
We also talk about how to handle social rejection, how to feel hurt without lashing out and spinning into a dark place. Everyone feels rejection sometimes. It is inevitable.
Emotional intelligence has as much influence on success as academic prowess. So dedicating a lot of “teaching time” to empathy, tact and kind communication feels like great preparation for school life.