Dear Parent, From a Teacher: The Definition of Kindness

kindnessThe definition of kindness is:
the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate.

Y’all we have been through A LOT in the past 17 months. Some days we might not even know what day it is, but you’re here, you’re trying your best, and if you’re not trying your best, keep it up because YOU CAN DO IT!

Whether you’ve worked from home with kids, without kids, dealt with financial struggles, or the worst: Losing a loved one. These past 17 months have been hard on everyone.

I’m writing this to remind you to show kindness and show empathy. Remember that you have no idea what someone else has been through or might be going through. The smallest gesture might mean a lot to someone.

A simple smile, a friendly “Good morning,” holding the door for someone. Yes, these are basic things in life that your parents probably taught you, but this reminder might help you help someone have a better day.

Let’s also not forget our essential workers. Doctors, nurses, grocery store workers, and community helpers — they’ve been working around the clock. Whether it’s the cashier at Publix or a nurse you see pumping gas. Pay it forward, treat them to a coffee, or tell them how much you appreciate them. Thank them for their service to their profession.

Let’s not forget our teachers, principals, custodians, and other school staff. They too have had to make so many adjustments through this pandemic. If you’re able to help with a teacher’s wishlist or a school’s wishlist, please do so. Send in gift cards for the school’s custodians. They have cleaned schools thoroughly for 17 months and moved furniture to help with social distancing. They’re tired, and the school year has barely just begun. Now they are heading into another school year full of uncertainties, so be kind. Have your child make them thank-you cards. Teach your children to show kindness to others. This will hopefully make for a kinder generation.

So we are going to continue to treat these essential workers and even strangers in the aisles at Target with kindness, right? Good. BUT, please don’t forget to look out for your own mental health. Be kind to yourself. Take some time out of your day for you. Take a walk, read a book, listen to music, meditate, dance, spend time with loved ones… even if it’s for a 10-minute break in your day. Do it for yourself — YOU deserve it!

As a parent, I hope you go into this upcoming school year ready to tackle whatever comes your way. Remember to show grace, kindness, and empathy to all. You have no idea what someone else is going through. They deserve love and respect just as much as you. Treat others the way you would want to be treated.

Our “Dear Parent, From a Teacher” series helps parents obtain the tools and insight to ensure a successful school year for their children. If you are a teacher who wishes to write a guest blog for this series, please email your topic to [email protected]

kindnessAbout the Author

Laura Hammock is originally from Orlando, Florida, but for almost 30 years she has made Jacksonville her home. She is an educator, a wife, an aunt, a dance instructor, an advocate for the arts, and a new “fur mom” to two Boston Terriers, Jack and Charlee. She is also the Director of the Pine Forest Dance Ensemble. She enjoys social media marketing, dancing, going to the beach, driving top down in her Jeep, working out, choreographing, writing, and of course eating new and interesting foods. She is passionate about her family, her students, and the community. She is excited to share her views with the Jacksonville Mom community and is thankful to the ladies at JM for the opportunity.

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