There is a well known quote by the Dalai Lama:

“Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.”

This simple statement has become the steadfast mantra in my family and extremely useful as I  parent my four children. Even now – as they are turning into adults and larger than life – whenever one says or does something unkind – all I have to start with is…”Be….” And invariably one of them finishes the phrase for me – usually with a small smile edging out the corner of their mouth.

And when I think about the children at CNS – we have the same approach and goal for all of them.

The work of preschool is varied and vast – but there is so much in the social area that our classroom and outdoor spaces become petri dishes of social and emotional development. In fact, some could argue that it is the actual REASON for preschool. We all know that parents could create very rich and wonderful areas of creativity, science, literature, in their homes – but where can they find a dozen other children to fit all into that space and have to share and take turns? Preschool.

When I talk to prospective parents about our specific goals for each child at CNS – I spend most of the time talking about the social piece. We want them all to learn kindness. Practice kindness. Feel kindness.

It doesn’t mean that everyone has to be friends with everyone else. It doesn’t mean that every moment has to include everyone that wants to be included. It does mean that when another wants to join that group, they are received with kindness. It does mean that someone needs help, that they are given help. It does mean that we greet each other with a smile and always say goodbye. It does mean looking out for each other and taking care of those who need that care – however big or small.

“Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.”

Such a simple idea. I practice it everyday – and you know what I’ve found? It really is not hard at all. And by giving kindness, even just a little bit, it comes back bigger than you can even believe….