October 18, 2018
The Evolution of Kindness
Contributed by Lindsay Leusch, Director of Education Outreach; Behavior Specialist
As a company and educational program we’ve always prioritized what’s best for children. This expectation is woven into the development of our curriculum and everyday work in the classroom. As a result, providing ongoing support for and development of young children’s social and emotional skills, guides our decision making and philosophies.
Recently, after attending a Conscious Discipline® inspired conference, I came away both motivated and driven to take a deeper look at improving our own curriculum techniques. I was excited to dig back into our current Kindness Curriculum plans and discover how we could enhance the practices to offer even better experiences and outcomes.
With every perspective shared and practice taught, the underlying message remained the same in this conference: When children feel connected, they are willing to learn. And the deepest connections are the byproduct of two basic feelings- safety and love. From this came the driving force behind our first unit- I Love You Rituals (designed and developed by Dr. Becky Bailey, founder of Conscious Discipline®).
By teaching and encouraging these rituals, children will have continued and consistent exposure to the most important ingredients that foster the deepest connections:
- Eye contact
In our first unit, these I Love You Rituals are slowly introduced and taught to each child directly by a teacher. Then, as confidence and understanding builds, children are encouraged to take part in these with peers. And as the saying goes, practice makes perfect, so throughout the year these rituals will get the continued attention they need and deserve. All the while, related skills will also be slowly introduced to help children develop a greater sense of self, empathy, and resilience.
While previously giving attention to the above mentioned needs, this recent evolution of our Kindness Curriculum is a beautiful compliment to the deepening awareness of what young children need to thrive and be set up for lifelong success.
So don’t let this humble act deceive you. It’s simple, yet mighty. And there’s no greater way to establish and nurture a bond, than by showing someone- big or small- “I see you. You’re important to me.”