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Old 12-18-2012, 09:34 PM   #1
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Something worth mentioning to your kiddos...

I am a middle school teacher. One of the common threads through many of the school issues is that the kid felt alone.

We have been having discussions in my room for the last two days about how it feels to be sitting alone, and that other kids need to make an effort to sit with kids they see sitting lone, and invite these kids to eat lunch with them, work in their group, etc.

I am putting it to my middle schoolers this way...let's say that someone comes over and asks you if you want to play video games after school. Is that person nervous you might say no? Of course! You may put up the "I'm cool" face, but deep inside, you know you feel warm and fuzzy that someone invited you over. For heaven's sake, say yes and spend time with the person. That person now feels warm and fuzzy too.

Now imagine that you could be that person for someone else. Let's say there is a kid that you know doesn't really have a lot of people he hangs with. Make the effort to invite that kid to do something. Ask the kid to play video games. Ask the kid to meet up with you at the mall. Or come over for movie night. Whatever. Make the effort to reach out to that kid. You'll probably discover a really cool person.

We already had a policy in my room that no one sits alone for breakfast. If you see someone sitting alone, it is your job to go over and sit down next to that person. Same for group work. No one works alone. If you see someone without a partner, it is your job to invite him/her to your group. We are building on that.

As a nation, we've got to create a culture where kids are inclusive. Because, lets face it, kids who feel valued in their community grow up happier and are less likely to come back later and hurt people.

I know there are a lot of awesome moms on here. If we could get our kids to befriend some of these kids who may be a little bit socially awkward by inviting them to eat lunch together, be in their group, be their science partner, etc., we can make a positive change, and all the kids will benefit. The more kids hear it from us and are encouraged by us to make friends with those outside our comfort zone, everyone benefits.

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Old 12-18-2012, 09:43 PM   #2
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Re: Something worth mentioning to your kiddos...

Excellent post! This is something I've been talking about with my older 2 boys (2nd and 1st grade). I may post this on FB trimmed down a little bit, is that ok?
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Old 12-18-2012, 09:49 PM   #3
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Re: Something worth mentioning to your kiddos...

Definitely ok.
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Old 12-18-2012, 09:52 PM   #4
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Re: Something worth mentioning to your kiddos...

thanks for posting. love the positive message. I needed the smile and I see you're creating smiles everyday. I'd love if you were one of my kid's teachers.
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Old 12-18-2012, 10:43 PM   #5
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Re: Something worth mentioning to your kiddos...

glad you posted this! It is my girls' job to do this and has been since they've been in preschool. I have always taught where they've gone to school and no way, no how are my girls going to NOT include someone when I work there. Since they've always done it, it's been natural for them. This year we changed schools, and they were really nervous that they would be the odd man out. Luckily, the other kids instantly befriended them and it was like they were always there. I am glad to see that other parents (or teachers) have taught their kids the same thing, because it made my girls first day a bit brighter and I hope that they've made other kids' days better sometimes too.
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Old 12-18-2012, 10:50 PM   #6
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Awesome post Kristen! I am going to give my kids this as a challenge the first day back from break. I give them a challenge for the week on Monday mornings. This would be great.
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Old 12-18-2012, 10:58 PM   #7
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Re: Something worth mentioning to your kiddos...

Great message and I will be talking to my daughter about this! She's only in Kindergarten but never too soon to send a child a positive message. Thank you!
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Old 12-19-2012, 12:26 AM   #8
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I'm really glad you posted this! DD is only almost 3 but the message you conveyed is such a great one and after reading this (and when DD is old enough to really understand what I fully mean) I will definitely be having this conversation with her.
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Old 12-19-2012, 12:55 AM   #9
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Sad but it's true about how social stereotyping often times cause say a nerdy kid to somehow get segregated. Or any reason for that matter. It's awesome to read about not sitting alone during breakfast. Time after time we realize we cannot live without interactions with other human kind. This thread reminds me of the famous story of a boy who was going home to commit suicide but soon to be best friend had unknowingly stopped him from doing so with a simple kind gesture.
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Old 12-19-2012, 05:34 AM   #10
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Good post. My daughter is 4 and is naturally charismatic and attracts people to her. She's inclusive, trying to rally people and have them join. But I've never thought to teach her to try to include people, especially as her preferences will begin to emerge. Now I will. I think I will teach her the word ambassador and ask her to try to help others who are shy. Thanks. Your post has helped me think about a new take on an important topic.
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