Tag Archives: kids

So Proud of You

proud of you

Last night my boys went to the NJ Devils game with my dad. When they got home, DJ said, “Drew, are you going to tell mom what you did at the game tonight?”  I replied, ‘Uhoh, what…” and DJ said, “No mom, it is good!”  We all laughed and Drew got embarrassed and told me this story,

You know how I always go up to the glass for warm ups?  Well, I went there tonight and I was hoping that a player would toss me a puck after practice.  There was this kid standing near me who had special needs and he was wearing a Toronto jersey.  He reminded me of that girl we saw at The Newark Bears Game.  That was the kind of special needs he was.  Well, he wanted a puck so badly but he didn’t get one and I guess he got tired of standing there because he and his dad went back to their seats.  Then, I got a puck and I went over and gave it to him instead of keeping it. The kid was so happy!  Later, the dad and the kid came over to our seats and thanked me.  At the end of the game, I went up to where the referees leave the ice and NJ, (the Devils mascot,) tossed me the game puck!

I was so proud I nearly cried.  DJ was just nodding his head the whole time telling me that really happened.  My dad told me how proud he was of him.  I had to share it – I was so filled with joy that he had done such a generous thing.  For anyone who knows him, he is a collector and giving up a puck was probably not the easiest thing for him!!  I shared the story on Facebook before I left for work this morning.  I got home this evening and found that there were just under 200 likes and almost 50 comments about it!  Comments saying others were going to pay it forward today after reading it.  Comments about how he is growing up into such a kind young man.  Comments about how Dave and I “must be doing something right!”

He and I just read the comments together and he is embarrassed – self-conscious perhaps, but I can tell he is pleased with himself.  It is so nice watching him grow into such a kind hearted boy.  Many of the comments mentioned “great parenting.”  I had great role models to follow, and now my children are following in those footsteps as well.  We talk all the time about how easy it is to do the right thing and last night, Drew demonstrated that perfectly.

Advice from Kindergarteners


Once a year, our school holds an orientation for incoming Kindergarteners.  We ask our present students to give us their advice for the new students and we pass it along to the new parents.  Tomorrow is Kindergarten Orientation so here is the advice we gathered today.  Actually, some of it can pertain to a lot more than Kindergarteners!

Advice to The Incoming Kindergarten Class

1.     Always listen to your teacher

2.     Always remember sneakers for PE

3.     Remember your birthday

4.     Say “good game” after you play a game

5.     Practice your word wall words

6.     If you do the right thing, nothing else matters!

7.     Don’t copy your friends.  Their answer might be wrong!

8.     Use your noodle

9.     One person at a time in the bathroom

10.Use the bathroom for bathroom things

11.Don’t take off your shoes – there could be a fire drill!

12.Push in your chair.

13.“Boo Boo” is baby talk – say “cut” or “scrape”

14.You don’t have to love it, you just have to try it

15.Manners matter!

16.Remember, would you do that if your mom were here?

17.Don’t’ worry if you can’t read…you have until 2nd grade!

18.School is fun

19.Hold scissors with the cutter part

20.No means no!

21.When the teacher says to do something, DO IT!

22.Fun is good, carried away is bad!

23.If a friend doesn’t answer, talk to someone else

24.Treat other people the way you want to be treated

25.Don’t throw snacks in the air…just eat them.

26.Jumping down the stairs is a bad idea, you might get hurt

27.A and I aren’t just letters, they’re words!

28.Don’t make swords out of markers.

29.Only tattle if it’s, “fire, flood or blood!”

30.Kindergarten is really fun!


“Me Time”

love yourself

A few months ago I wrote about how I thought that some days were going to be difficult to find things to write about – and some days have been!!  Today was one of those days.  Not that I did not see kindness, but that I was feeling completely the opposite.

Dave and I have worked out our schedules along with the boys, so that we all are able to do our own thing while still finding the time to spend all together.  Dave has soccer a few times during the week, I have my kickboxing, the kids have their sports….we make it work.  For the most part, it usually does.  When we allow ourselves “me time” the entire family benefits.

Tonight, Drew had a big volcano project to finish for school.  He also had soccer practice.  He and I worked on it for hours after school.  This meant, no kickboxing for me and it made me upset.  Bitter actually.  Then, guilty for being upset about it.   Drew has been struggling in school for quite some time now and finally there was a homework assignment that he was interested in.  He looked for facts on the internet, he molded the clay for the volcano, mixed the paint and spouted out facts about volcanoes the entire time.  I tried to be enthusiastic with him – and I honestly was, but I needed a few extra hours in my day to fit everything in.  I (selfishly), wanted time for myself too, but I decided to skip my class and help him finish in time to get to his soccer practice with Dave.

I’m sure, (or at least I hope), that many parents have feelings like this.  Now that my boys are older, and DJ is responsible enough to take care of Drew, it has been easier, but it still gets complicated at times.  For me, guilt might be the biggest inhibitor.  I know that we all need to find the time to create a more balanced and happy life style for ourselves and our families but when I put myself first, I still get that guilty twinge.   Yet, those nights, that I do get to class, or when Dave has a game, I notice that we are better parents.  In that one hour of kickboxing,  I am able to clear my mind, not think about work, or housework and spend time with other adults so that when I come back to my home, I am refreshed and ready to be a mom again.

Tonight, as I wrote this blog, while Drew and Dave are at soccer practice, and DJ and I are home watching a hockey game on television, I realized that everyone is worthy of care and attention, myself included.   I need that class for my own well-being but the volcano is due tomorrow.  There will be more kickboxing classes.   Missing one class so that I could focus my attention on my kids, who are also deserving of my time, is not a sacrifice.  It is love.


April Fool’s Day


April Fools Day  is widely recognized as a day when people play practical jokes, tricks and hoaxes on each other.

In Kindergarten, April Fool’s Day can make for quite an interesting day!  The kids love to play tricks on each other and on me, and I tell them that as long as the tricks are in good fun, there is no meanness involved and that no one gets carried away, it is acceptable for the day.   Some people might be surprised that I’d choose to write about playing jokes or pranks on others in a kindness blog but if it is all done with humor and in good spirit, in the hopes to make someone laugh, then I think that is the epitome of kindness.   None of those children were doing anything to upset one another.  They wanted to make each other laugh.   The children were not laughing AT each other, but WITH one another.  I actually find it to be a fun, creative day for the kids.  A chance for them to be silly, to come up with creative jokes and to interact with one another.

April Fool’s Day can actually turn into a teachable moment.  A way to teach kids appropriate ways to pull harmless pranks, be silly, and enjoy themselves.  When children learn how to find the right balance of silliness without hurting anyone’s feelings, they  are likely to build strong social skills in the process.



One of the benefits of being a teacher and living in the town that I teach in, is that I get to bump into my students and their families quite often around town.  My own family laughs because we can rarely go anywhere without seeing someone I know.  Being a Kindergarten teacher is a blessing in itself.  The joy that these 5 and 6 year olds find in the simplest things, brings a smile to my face on a daily basis.  Children teach us how care for the small things, love unconditionally and to simply laugh.

In the weekly journal writing class that I have been taking we have been focusing on vulnerability. The definition of vulnerable is “exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, either physically or emotionally”  Many people might think that children are vulnerable, but perhaps the people who really are vulnerable are adults.   Children laugh, care and love unconditionally.  They are giving, compassionate and empathetic.  They are tolerant and unbiased.  They want to love and they want to be loved.  Simple.  Maybe this is why being a Kindergarten Teacher is “my calling”.  They all just want to be friends!

Being vulnerable is not a bad thing.  After talking and journal writing about it for a few days now, I think it is part of a growing process.  Vulnerability is necessary to grow and move on.  It is a process of change and learning to accept that you can move forward.  I am secure in the way my life is right now….but now that my mom has passed, that life is going to be different.  I am vulnerable.  I have to learn to live without her.  I can’t just call her like I want to tonight, to ask her for her corned beef and cabbage recipe that I will be preparing for 20 people tomorrow. I have to rely on other ways and open myself to new possibilities and opportunities.  It will taste just fine.  It may not be her recipe, but it will be as close to it as I can get it to be, and perhaps be a new tradition for our family.

That brings me back to teaching in town…

Today, while I was at Target, buying all of the ingredients I needed for tomorrow’s meal,  at the exact same time, three of my students and their parents and I all wound up in the same part of the store.  I got hugs and enormous smiles and in return, I was able to give them one of the biggest, most genuine smiles I have been able to give all week.  When one of them told me, “I missed you!  Where were you”?  I told them, “My mom was sick”.  One of them just smiled and said, “She needed you to take care of her right?”  My eyes filled with tears and I was able to reply, “Yes.  That is exactly what I was doing”.  Perhaps I am breaking through my vulnerability and it is my Kindergarteners who will help me to get there.


Color Blind

children teach about life

Today, I taught one of my favorite lessons!  The “Brown Egg, White Egg” lesson.  I bring two raw eggs to school.  One brown and one white.  I show the class the eggs and we talk about their similarities and differences.  The class writes and illustrates what they notice about the eggs.  Then we crack the white one and look at what is inside.  Some of them, but not many, had seen a brown egg before.  We predicted what we thought it would look like when we cracked it open.  Many thought that it would be brown inside.  We cracked it open and saw that they were exactly the same!!

We gathered on the carpet and talked about it.  I had two students come to the front of the room, one with brown skin and one with peach skin.  We talked about how they were the same.  Some of the answers I heard were:

  • they were both five years old
  • they were both Kindergarteners
  • they both had on stripes

Then we talked about their differences:

  • one had blond hair and one had black hair
  • one was a boy and one was a girl
  • one had on blue and the other had on pink
  • one had a headband, the other did not

We probably got through at least five more differences before someone mentioned, “one has brown skin and one has peach skin”.  I asked them what we noticed about the eggs when we cracked them open and they recalled that they were the same inside.  I joked with them and asked them, what if these two children were eggs and I cracked them open.  What would they see inside?  They answered,

  • blood
  • bones
  • a heart
  • a stomach

until someone shouted out, “They’re just like the eggs!  Same on the inside!”

This lesson, (which I teach every year and always get the same reaction), proves to me that kids really are “color blind”.  They don’t see each other as a different color.  They don’t us the words, “black and white” to describe one another.  Their color words are so much more descriptive.  Our class has tan, brown, peach and apricot colored students in it.  Adults can learn so much from children.  They are so accepting of one another.  It is my hope that these children can help to bridge the barriers that so many adults have yet to cross.

photo-45 photo-44

Kindness Awareness

stranger a smile

Kindness Awareness is spreading in my own family, or at least it appears to be!

Yesterday my eleven year old son Drew, asked me if I had a story for my blog already.  I told him that I did, but I asked him why he was asking.  He told me, “I saw a random act of kindness today”.  I asked him to tell me about it.  He said,

“I saw a man, he was a business man, I knew because he was wearing a tie, but he must have had a hard day because his the knot of his tie was not around his neck, it was kind of hanging down lower.  I saw him walking up the street in the village and he had a pile of papers and dropped them.  Then, this other guy came up to him, got down on one knee and picked up all the paper.  I don’t know exactly what he said, but it looked like the guy in the tie said, ‘thank you’.  As soon as I saw it, I thought of your blog”.

Keep looking for RAK’s!!  (Random Acts of Kindness).  Share them with me.  I would love to share more!