This week is Yellow Ribbon Week at GUSD schools, a week dedicated to kindness. Please talk about the importance of being kind every day with your family. Kindness prevents sadness, loneliness, humiliation, alienation. Kindness prevents underage alcohol and drug use, self-harm, bullying, suicide. Make sure you are ethical in your acts of kindness. By this I mean don’t be a phony, only turning it on for people sharing your social status or who could elevate you in a way you desire. Your kids are watching, they understand, and we don’t need another phony in our midst. It’s easy to be kind. Say hi. Let people into your lane. Wait your turn or ask to cut in. Talk to the person who seems lost, ask them to join you at your table. Introduce them to someone else. And try your best not to say anything if you can’t say anything nice. I know this is obvious, or silly, but you cannot imagine how many people don’t understand the basics of social graces. Dignity Health created The Great Kindness Challenge and Glendale Unified is one of 11 school districts statewide certified to participate.
In addition to being kind to others, you have to tell your child that it’s unkind to take and share nude pictures. Yes, you really do. “Sexting” is a big problem among our techno-savvy youth. I know this is obvious, but please remind your child not to take a nude picture of him/herself and send it to a friend who promises to keep it private. We hear of more instances of students taking screenshots of nude pictures of someone else and then holding it over that person’s head. Blackmail isn’t kind. And let us not forget that it’s illegal to possess child porn. Tell your child that it’s bad for their future to take nude shots let alone share them.
Most of all, be kind to the people you love. It’s easy to overlook them because they’re always there. But if you don’t, they might not be. That’s the best kindness you can show your child.