Friendship: Qualities of good friends

If you have a good friend, especially one that has been around for a long time, that is a very special feeling and privilege. For some they may have a friend that they had from some of their schooling days – whether it is primary or college days. As the one saying goes “To have a good friend, you must be a good friend.”

So we want our children to develop those sort of friendships that last a long time. In fact it is with those sort of friendships that middle and high school are going to be easier to navigate. It is not about just being popular, it is about healthy relationships between two individuals.

Developing friends and keeping them does not come easily for all children or adults. So what should you do if your child is having trouble making or keeping friends? We will spend some time this month looking at ways we can be a good friend and how others are good friends to us. Continue reading “Friendship: Qualities of good friends”

Do you get angry?

Everyone gets angry or sometimes has anger lingering in them.  For a young person it may be having a toy taken away from them by another child.  It may be not getting their way or what they want at that very moment.  As we get older though we may be angered because of being lied too or we may be frustrated, feeling guilty or it may be due to a fear that we have.

I will tell you my own example.  My father died when I was 13 years old.  I did not even realize it – but it made me angry that he had left me alone at that time.  That feeling followed me for a very long time and it was not till I was close to 30 years old that I realized that my anger about that unfortunate circumstance was having an affect on other parts of my life. 

How we feel anger can be different too.  It may be that we frown, clench our teeth, wrinkle our brow, feel it in our stomach, head or throat.  Some may react by clinching their fist, crossing their arms, stomping their feet or screaming mean words.  Others may just become very quiet and internalize their feelings.  So as we begin to discuss anger management we recognize that it is about how we handle anger in a safe, fair and positive way.  Of course it is OK to be angry, but its not OK to just someone with our words or physically because we are angry.

open-mindedness: listening to new ideas

On the subject of open-mindedness we have raised the idea that listening to others is good for us as we hear new ideas and new ways of doing things.  If everyone was closed to new ideas think of the many inventions and other things that may have been delayed or never happened in our world.

Some are closed off though due to fear of change or they may just not want to be seen as having been wrong in the past.  Sometimes we just like to hear ourselves talk and we may even be trying to impress others with how much we know and so never get to hear the thoughts of others. 

There is a story in the martial arts world of a student who is visiting a master instructor who he really wants to impress with his own knowledge, thinking that this would bring special privileges as a student.  After listening for quite a long time the master instructor invited the student to have some tea.  He poured the tea continuously until the cup was overflowing.  He continued to pour until the student could no longer stand it and screamed for him to stop.  The teacher did stop and the student asked him why he poured to such an extent.  The masters answer is telling.  “Like this cup you’re full of your own ideas.  How can I teach you anything unless you are willing to first empty your cup?”  Is our cup empty or are we only filled with our own way of thinking?

Its not that all new ideas are good ideas.  Its not that all ideas are good for everyone.  It could be that some ideas may be good for some and not for others.  But unless we are willing to hear them out we will not be in a position to think about them and make a choice. 

The choice should be ours from a position of knowledge.  When we hear about something new or a way of thinking about something that is different than our present way of thinking we need to choose if this is a good or bad choice for us.  By the way just because an idea is new, bold, exciting, or innovative, does not mean that it may also be foolish.  Only by using our own mind and careful consideration can we come to a conclusion that would be good for us or our family.

Giving to others

After coming back from vacation I had a week of being sick like I have not seen for a very long time. On one of the days at home, afraid to move a muscle, I laid with the television on. There was a show where someone fixed up a car for a young teacher who was still in school and just barely getting by, driving a car that was on its last leg. Tears welled up in my eyes.
Have you ever noticed that when we see someone doing something nice for someone who really needs it, how good it makes us feel. Ever seen Extreme Makeover? Ever been to Alabama? We sometimes get this overwhelming good feeling for both parties. In fact we feel great.
When we step up and demonstrate compassion for others, perform an act of kindness, the feeling we receive is even more overwhelming. It makes us feel so good to be a positive part of community. Our family, school, town, state, world community.

Acts of Kindness

In the next 6 weeks what can we accomplish as a school?  Can we work as a group and accomplish doing and being the catalyst for 1000 acts of kindness?  Can we do even more than that?  Who will step up and show their leadership skills and ask their classmates to join them and do 10 acts of kindness with them?
We are putting together and absolutely amazing day of activity when my instructor comes into town to visit and train with us.  I can honestly say that visiting with him for 15 minutes will inspire you for a very long time to be the best you can be.  And the only thing he has asked is our school put forth our best effort and accomplish 1000 acts of kindness before he gets here.
Join me in our quest to meet that requirement.  Then feel free to ask others to join you.  They are welcomed to come and visit on that day also.  Record all acts here on our website and we will have the results on a weekly basis posted so you know what we have accomplished so far.