“Look for the new kid.” That’s the advice from a mom of five amazing military-connected kids. Sharon Smith tells all of her boys, who range from 6 – 14 years of age, to look for the new kid at school. She wants her boys to seek out fellow students who are new and not quite comfortable within the school halls.
Being a military family, Smith kids understand what it’s like to be the new kid at school. She wants them to develop and strengthen their empathy towards others by finding someone who might be feeling or have felt unsettled and scared at a new school.
“Each one of my boys knows what it feels like to be the new kid. I want them to remember that and make another child’s day by saying hello, sitting next them at lunch or inviting them into their group. One smile or lunch buddy could make the difference in a child’s self-esteem and how they feel about being a military family,” says Smith.
There are many new kids still sitting alone at lunch or riding the bus by themselves; many are military-connected kids. So, pass along the sage advice and tell your children to look for the new kid this year. Teach them to develop their empathy by feeling what others feel by reflecting on their own experience. It’s a lesson in character and building good karma.