It's that time of year already. Children and families are getting back in the school time routine, which means lots of new opportunities for kids to be superstars in Santa's book! Going back to school is a great time for the principles of kindness, compassion, and thinking of others to shine out. We pulled some great pointers from a "Parents" blog post that will set your children up to be on Santa's nice list for sure, not to mention perfect examples of what it means to be Santa's Little Helper!
1. Take advantage to teach children empathy.
We all make mistakes or have a bad day sometimes. Maybe a classmate was rude to your child at school. Use these examples as an opportunity to remind your kids to put themselves in others' shoes. Ask questions like, "How do you think they were feeling that day?" or "Sometimes if I'm having a bad day I might say something I didn't mean. Do you think maybe other people do that too?"
2. Remind them to go the extra mile.
A new teacher and classroom of friends is a perfect time to help your child look for ways to brighten the lives of those around them. Do they sit next to a new friend? Encourage them to get to know them better and give them one compliment a day. Do they have a new teacher? Remind them to thank their teacher for what they do. A thank you letter is a great recommendation from the blog, and of course we love that idea as our Christmas Cheer Cards show!
3. Practice consistency.
A new routine can be hectic at first! But as we all know, it evens out. In the midst of transition, set the ground rules and stick with them. Help your children process their new environment and emotions that come with returning to school. Remind them to treat others like they want to be treated and to practice patience and self-control right from the beginning.
4. Make time for "shout-outs!"
Praise is so important for all of us. Build it in to every day. Each morning before school, encourage your children to be on the lookout for "shout-outs," or things that deserve praise and recognition. When they spot one, tell them to share it right away to the person who deserves it and save it for a special time of family "shout-out" sharing at dinnertime.
5. Make a Kindness Calendar.
Print out the month's calendar, and make it a fun chart for your children to keep track of their kindness. When they share something kind they've done, help them write it on that day on their calendar or mark it with a sticker. They'll love reviewing their days, weeks, and months and seeing the kindness they showed others!