Holiday greetings to all of you! At this time, I’m sure many of you are buying that last minute Christmas present, baking the last batch of cookies or wondering what you will do with your kids home for the next several days. This seems to happen to us every year. Christmas is a time for a break and relaxation but somehow we tend to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of forcing kindness on one another just because that is what is expected at this time of year. As I’ve stated before perhaps even in this blog, my motto, “Have courage and be kind”, is applicable at this time of year. While many of us are exhibiting “kindness” because society tells us that’s what we should do, I think it’s important for us to examine the kindness that we are displaying to others. I’ve had to take some time to think, am I giving gifts to check off a list or am I giving gifts because I want to show kindness? As I reflect on my gift-giving I often wonder how that is rubbing off on my own children who are going to be 12 years old very soon. Are they seeing kindness as a habit or kindness as a meaningful and genuine action?
Much of what I would like to see in the culture of high school is kindness as a natural occurrence instead of something that is forced. While we are working to practice kindness here, it is the foundation that you set at home that sets the path for kindness. From Mr. Gold’s class who became Santa to several families in need to the tree in the entryway covered with hats and gloves for those who need them, I think the kind, Christmas spirit at Redbank Valley High School is alive and well.
Along with theses displays of kindness, however, I am getting some reports of students not being so kind to one another. While we can’t force kindness on people, we can combat negative feelings and negative actions with our kind words and gestures. Please instill this thought in your children and help them to understand that kindness will prevail. We need to be diligent about communicating issues when people are being less than kind so that it can be addressed in a swift manner. Like I’ve stated to several parents, I can’t make people be kind, but I can let them see the ramifications of their poor choices in behavior. Let’s resolve in this New Year to increase our communication and spread that kindness while letting others see that when kindness prevails everything goes a little more smoothly.