Submitted Date 08/19/2019

We live in a very negative world, full of nastiness, comparison, and envy. This is especially true for our kids. With the rise in social media and other apps, kids are more pressured than ever to be popular and do the "cool" thing rather than doing the right thing. They live in a world where it is much easier to be ugly and cruel to someone rather than to be nice. I don't mean every kid is this way, I'm just saying it's the "school culture" that surrounds them every day.


However, as a parent, you still have a big influence. As we all know, being kind to people is much more awesome than being the latter. Here are some ways your kids can spread kindness this year. Who knows, they may start a new trend in their school.


1. Share their school supplies-If a classmate runs out of a glue or a certain color of marker runs dry, or they forget their supplies, your child can share theirs.


2. Share their lunch-If one of their friends forgets their lunch your child can share their lunch.


3. Take an extra lunch for a kid in need-To make things less awkward for both parties; your child can befriend a classmate who is struggling. You can also put all the food in the same bag so it looks more like a "sharing" situation.


4. Stay after class with a friend and help a teacher-If the teacher needs help after class with something, encourage your child to stay and help with a friend.


5. Sit with the unpopular kid at lunch-Encourage your kid to reach out to the kids who are outsiders and sit with them at lunch or invite them to sit at their table.


6. Carry a classmate's books-If a classmate has an injury like a broken leg or arm or something else that prevents them from carrying their books, your child can help.


7. Let a sick classmate know what homework they missed-Have your child call or text their classmate or friend and let them know what homework they missed.


8. Take a sick classmate their homework-If there is something specific a sick classmate or friend needs to complete the missed homework, take it to them.


9. Watch out for those who are bullied-Kids should look out for others who are being bullied.


10. Report bullying to their teacher or principal-If your child sees someone who is being bullied; they should report it to the teacher or principal.


11. Choose the unpopular kids for their team in gym class-Your child can make the unpopular kid feel good by picking them for their team in gym class. They can also encourage them, although sports may not be their thing.


12. Tutor a classmate-Your child can take some time to help tutor a friend or a classmate in a certain subject as long as it doesn't interfere with getting their own schoolwork done.


13. Invite an unpopular kid to the dance or prom-Your kid could invite an unpopular kid to the dance or prom. Better yet, they can ask their friends to do the same in the spirit of kindness so everyone can have a great night and no one feels left out.


14. Give a classmate a ride home-If your teen has their license; they can give a classmate a ride home if needed.


15. Car pool with friends to school-Your child can also car pool with friends which will save gas and wear and tear on everyone's cars. Make sure everyone puts in a set amount each week for gas for whoever is driving.


16. Encourage a friend to try out for an extra-curricular activity-If one of their friends is on the fence about trying out for a sports team, cheerleading, or another activity, they can encourage them to go for it.


17. Organize a fund raiser-If there is something the school needs money for, your child and their friends could organize a fundraiser.


18. Befriend the unpopular kids-Everyone needs a friend, therefore encourage your kids to befriend the unpopular kids. They never know, they may find a kindred spirit or new best friend.


19. Befriend the new kid at school-Kids should remember what it was like being in a new grade or starting a new school and how nerve-wracking and scary it was. Encourage them to get to know the new kids.


20. Show the new kid around and be helpful-Besides getting to know the new kids, encourage yours to show them around and answer their questions.


21. Help a friend with their homework-If one of their friends is struggling in a subject, your child can help them.


22. Be kind to those who are different-If your child attends school with those who are autistic, have down syndrome, are blind or have any other seen or unseen differences, encourage them to befriend them and be kind to them.


23. Donate backpacks of school supplies-Your child could get a summer job and save their money to buy backpacks and school supplies for underprivileged classmates.


24. Volunteer to Tutor-Some local colleges have "labs" where students can get tutored in different subjects and both adults and students can volunteer to tutor.


25. Donate books to the school library-If your child or teen has gently used books to get rid of, talk to the school librarian about donating them.


26. Do a random act of kindness-Encourage your child to do a random act of kindness one to two times a week, whether it be an encouraging word, sharing something they have, or helping a classmate or friend with something.


School can be a difficult and harsh place but it doesn't have to be. We should encourage our kids to be kind to one another and help each other. Regardless of being a kid or an adult, we are all in this life together.

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