Kindness in the Classroom: Keeping it Simple

Kids at play in a pile of leavesLaughter and shouts ring out from all corners of the playground, children are climbing, jumping, swinging, and chasing each other with abandon. With such light and carefree hearts, children – like wind sprites – seem to reflect all that is good in the world as they chase autumn leaves, roll down a grassy hill, follow their curiosity along the path of a ladybug, or throw their arms around their mum without a care as to who’s watching and say, “I love you, mummy!”.

Unfortunately, this innocence has it’s down side – their naiveté to the impact that hurtful words can have on others.

When my boys were young, I tried to make everything as simple as possible. They only had three rules to follow, and I called them “The 3 Rs”:

  1. Be Responsible
  2. Be Respectful
  3. Be Respectable

They just needed to be sure that their actions didn’t violate one of these three rules (I admit, patience is not one of the virtues with which I was born… and this made it pretty easy when they were in the midst of a temper tantrum – which obviously didn’t fall into the second or third list item :).

The other day, I saw a post on Pinterest that fell into the same “Keep it Simple” category. I loved it and wished I’d had it as a tool when I was teaching my boys about the second “R” – Respectful. It simply said, “Before you speak: THINK!”. Of course, I’d heard this statement before, but as a child my (internal) response to this was, “What exactly do you want me to think about?”.THINK - True. Helpful. Inspiring. Necessary. Kind

T – is it True?
H – is it Helpful?
I – is it Inspiring?
N – is it Necessary?
K – is it Kind?

Finally! An answer to my internal question! This simple formula for that age-old statement “THINK before you speak” gives those wind chasing, grass scented, hugging children an easy way to be sure that their words can have a positive impact on others.