Greetings Brave Nation!
It is officially spring! Can you believe we are finishing our 30th week of the school year?!
I know the pace picks up for all of us in the spring. Family, church and sporting activities come more frequently. School projects, practices and performances begin to fill our calendars. And, of course for every educator there are many testing days circled on the calendar over the next few months. I wanted to take just a moment to encourage you before we all dive in for this spring “push”! As parents, grandparents, teachers, school employees, pastors, EVERY adult in our community, we can help our children believe, lead, unite and excel this spring with these simple steps:
P - Praise the young people you see doing the right thing. Point out when you see positive behavior and good character traits. I know as a dad, I very often find myself reminding my teenagers about the things they DIDN’T do (take out the trash, pick up the clothes, etc). I have to be mindful to compliment them when they DO their chores without being asked, or, heaven forbid, when they are kind and helpful to each other. I try to make it a point to offer twice as much praise as I do correction. Some days, that is harder than others, but I want to encourage all of us to look for opportunities to speak life into our young people. Remind them that they are uniquely created beings, each with their own special talents and abilities to impact the world around them.
U - Unite together. It is one of our core principles in “Experience the BLUE”. We must work together as teachers, parents, administrators, community members, citizens….we are ALL in this together. The children that sit in our classrooms right now will one day be running our schools, cities and our country. They will be the doctors providing us care and they will be the trade professionals that keep our cars and homes running. We must embrace our collective responsibility to work together to provide the encouragement and resources they need and deserve.
S - Share 10-15 uninterrupted minutes a day reading or talking with your child or a young person. Read a story, have them read a story to you, investigate a news story online together, or talk about current events. If you can’t find time to read, turn the radio down in the car and have intentional conversations about what they learned at school today. Not just, “How was your day?” “Fine.” Really dive in. Try something like, “tell me about one thing you learned today”, or “what is the one subject or topic you know well enough to teach it to me?” Let the children in your life know that you are interested in what they are learning and find activities you can do together to support what they are learning, or want to learn.
H - Hug or high-five (whichever is appropriate) your child and at least 5 others every day. You would be amazed what a high-five can do for a kiddo, if you don’t believe me try it out on the next random young person you see tie their shoes or answer a difficult question. Watch their eyes light up with just the simple gesture that says “I saw you and you did a good job”. Hug your own kids, even when they act like they are too cool.
The bottom line is our kids need to know that we care, that we are paying attention and many times, they just need to be encouraged. And, by the way, this goes for adults, too. I know it is going to get hectic between now and June 1st, but I believe that all of us are ready to PUSH forward and continue to make a difference in the lives of our Braves.