From the Mouths of Kindergartners

Mornings in kindergarten
Mornings in kindergarten

I volunteer at my daughter’s school a few times a month and sometimes that is in the morning.  They start their day with the school bell, then the pledge of allegiance, and after that, they all say a bunch of phrases or hymns so to speak.  It can go something like this, “In everything you do, do your best, even if it is coloring.  Try your hardest.  In everything you do, try your hardest.”   There is another one that goes like this, “respect means treating others the way you want to be treated,” and finally, “responsibility means wdoing your job without being told or just one time since you’re a kindergartener.”

I love, love these little sayings, and I started to think everyone in society could benefit from these little sayings.  Think about it:  isn’t life often like a Kindergarten or in some cases, high school?  Simple phrases like this can really serve some people well, and serve to remind them of simple principles that will hopefully help them be true to themselves and others.  I like to add one more phrase to the list, “everyone is not you, everyone is different, and you are not better than any one else.” I think if Kindergarteners learned this up front and throughout their lives maybe they wouldn’t be so difficult to deal with later on in life?

When my friends and I talk, it seems that there is a common theme in most everything they encounter – whether its interactions with other parents, neighbors, at their business, or at the child care centers:  Personality conflicts, lack of respect for others and their property, and the perfecting of interpersonal skills.

Think about the words said by these kids first thing in the morning, “in everything you do, do your best…” Sure, its not coloring but shouldn’t we all be doing our best in all we do- trying our hardest?  How much better would our friendships and relationships be if we heeded the phrase “respect means treating others the way you want to be treated.” This is a common theme in most religions too but just saying these out loud daily or in our heads, could it change the way we view our world, and ultimately, change our world?

My personal favorite is the one on responsibility.  You shouldn’t have to be told – okay, so there is the one-time exception for a Kindergartner.  But I also view responsibility as someone accepting responsibility for their actions as well, instead of blaming everything and everyone around them for their shortcomings.  It comes as no surprise that lawsuits and tort actions are so rampant in our society- no one is ever to blame for anything they do anymore.  And, going back to the adage above of people thinking they are better than everyone else, why would they ever take the blame for anything they contribute to if they always think they are right?  If we recited this phrase daily that we learned from Kindergartners, would more people learn to take responsibility for their actions in society?

Ah, from the mouth of babes!  I love volunteering in my daughter’s kindergarten class.  There are so many parallels between school and daily life – more than I care to admit.  I love volunteering and seeing the interchange between the kiddos.  The same parallels present themselves to the parents of these kids in almost all they do, whether it’s shopping in a grocery store, mommy’s day out, parents’ groups, and working outside the home.  No matter what it is you do, or don’t do, we could all benefit from lessons from the mouths of Kindergartners- to enhance ourselves and our interpersonal relationships … “in everything we do, do our best, even if it is just coloring.”

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