Growing up, my mom would be gone most mornings before I would wake up. Having a single parent, we had to learn to operate on our own most of the time. I would get dressed, eat a bite of food, and go out to the curb to wait for the bus. I never got any morning time with her and was always jealous of kids whose parents stood at the bus stop with them.
Now that I have kids, I love mornings and walking them to school each day. I can’t imagine them waking up on their own and going to school by themselves. Every day is an opportunity to encourage them. Here are 5 things to tell your child every day on the way to school.
1. Be a leader.
Tell them that leaders go first, set examples for others, and help when needed. Leaders lead with their actions, and sometimes, they use words. Good leaders do the right thing when no one is watching.
2. Be kind.
Being kind is doing and saying the right thing even if it means you get nothing. Kindness is more important than good grades. Grades are important and have tremendous value, but a child’s character is even more important.
3. Get back up.
Your kids are going to fail—they are going to fall at some point. Tell them that no matter what happens, we always get back up and try again. When they miss the shot, get back up. When they fail the quiz, get back up. Teaching our kids to be resilient in the day-to-day will set them up for success as adults.There are good things people won’t notice about your kids, but people always notice a kid who shows respect.
4. Be respectful.
Tell them to respect three things every day. Give respect to adults at school because they have authority and are in charge. Respect your peers in the way that you want to be respected. Respect the facility because we always leave places better than we found them. There are good things people won’t notice about your kids, but people always notice a kid who shows respect.
5. Be an encourager.
Challenge your kids to use their words wisely. Ask them, “Do your words encourage others or tear them down?” Help them find ways to be an encourager each day by asking them who they can encourage today. Like kindness, this forces your kids to think past the surface of others and see the best in them. When they see the best, tell them to say it and to be an encourager.
Sound off: What do you think are things to tell your child every day?
Huddle up with your kids and ask, “Why do you think it’s important to be respectful?”