Kind Kids are the New Cool Kids
By Amy Logan
The world needs more kids like your kids.
“Jerk! No one likes you! Idiot! You’re stupid. No one wants to play with you! You think you know everything. Go home!”
Either our own kids run and tell us that “so-and-so said this to me”, or we hear kids just come right out and say it in front of us. IN FRONT OF US! You know, other kids. And so help me to the high heavens if it is my kid!
But it’s not.
It’s so hard as parents to try to teach our kids to “talk nice” when other kids clearly don’t follow that rule. And how can we compete with these “cool” kids who say and do what they want anyway?
Here’s the truth. As we are reading this saying, “YEAH! Other kids!” others are reading it too thinking the same thing. So, whose kids are treating others this way if we all are thinking, “not my kids!”?
Kids hold more power in their actions and words than what we think. We can preach all day long about “you need to be kind” or “if someone says something mean to you, just ignore it.” These are obviously good things to teach, words to live by, and for the most part, our kids hear us and they act accordingly. But - kids want to be like other kids. Peer pressure starts way before adolescence. Kids are observant and are watching all the time. They are very quick to pick up on the reactions of others. And quite frankly, it’s not always the action of the kid, but the reaction of others that strikes a chord.
Now, I know there are a lot of parents out there who are tired of their kids “just taking it” and “walking away” and you should be tired of it. For crying out loud, we are ALL tired of it. There comes a point for some where we want to tell our kids, “Hit ‘em back!!! Knock him out!” I get it. I totally get it. DON’T DO IT! But I get it. We were there once too, and don’t get me wrong, we are human and there are still days. And really, some kids probably deserve it, between you and me (not your kids, though). Did I type that out loud?
But let’s go deeper. What about the kids who have heard these awful things and have dealt with this on a daily basis for years and never said anything to anyone so we never knew? Now they’re in middle school or high school, or even adults. All of this builds up and never leaves the brain - making kids feel, or adults feel, that they are worthless; that no one needs them; that they don’t make a difference so who cares?
What if that’s your child who grows up thinking, “so, who cares?”
There needs to be a paradigm shift. Right now. In fact, it’s already started with you because you are reading this. There’s never been a more important time to teach our kids that they do matter; that other kids need them; that the world needs them, in fact it’s counting on them to make a difference.
We have to make sure our kids grow up knowing how powerful they really are. We need to make sure that they know their words are stronger than steel, their actions more powerful than a locomotive; that others are watching them, some of them wanting to be them. That alone is so powerful. We need our kids to know that anyone can be a bully, but it takes REAL super powers to build someone up; to love them; to tell them from one kid to another, “You matter.”
Kids want attention, they crave it. And when they get it, they respond to it. They want to know that what they are doing is good, and that we approve. When we do that, when we create action because of positive encouragement, we create a positive environment for everyone. It’s not rocket science. It’s human nature.
We require 3 things to thrive: love, approval, and recognition. When we provide this along with teaching our kids the importance of helping others, giving back, of making the world a better place, naturally, that’s what begins to happen. And the kind kids become the “cool” kids. And life is good.
>Sigh<. Dare to dream. Of course we are daring to dream because it’s possible, and our kids deserve it. We can all start right now by getting our kids involved in a C.A.P.E. Campaign – Creating Action with Positive Encouragement to help Create A Positive Environment. Help show them how important they are to our world; how needed they are by our world, by having them keep track of kind things they do every day. There is such validation when we see the effort we’ve put forth and the difference we’ve made. Kids need that. We all do. Challenge them for a month or two. Do it with them. You can download a calendar for this, along with cards to send at www.GotYourCape.com. I read somewhere that after doing things for 60 days it becomes a habit. What a cool habit that our kids grow up feeling validated, valued and important, and that they do kind things not so others notice, but because it’s now become part of who they are.
And how great is that? That our kids, YOUR KIDS, will have learned how awesome and self-rewarding it is to set the example; that they’ll be too busy making a difference and being superheroes to the world that they won’t have time to focus on any negative because they will be the positive influence our world needs.
Yeah. Your kids - they are the influence our world needs.
Thanks for raising superheroes. The world needs more kids like your kids.
Author, A Girl With A Cape™
For more information or to get a copy of the book that’s changing the world one act of kindness at a time, A Girl With A Cape, go to www.GotYourCape.com, and like us on facebook.com/AGirlWithACape.