Amos celebrated his birthday at school a few days before it was out because his birthday fell during the summer break this year.  I loved what his teacher does for each birthday kid in her class.  She has them all sit around the room in a circle and say what they like about the birthday kid.  What a great skill that is for kids to learn.  They were practicing encouraging and uplifting words with each other.


{Amos & his friends at his birthday party}

I was blessed to be able to be in the room when this went down, and boy was my mommy heart smiling during this time.  I quickly pulled out my phone and began writing down everything they said to Amos.

Here's what they said:

Good friend
Always likes to play with me
His skin color is different than most of ours
You play Pokemon cards with me
Really nice to me
When people fall he helps them
He shares
Your voice

And finally his teacher ended with telling him that he's a hard worker.  I cherished this moment and it reminded me that we need to do more of this at home.  I am always wanting my kids to talk nicely to each other, but am I actually setting up times in our week when that can happen?  Do I invite them into the art of complimenting each other?

I realized that day that although kids are selfish and only looking out for themselves (so are adults for the most part, we just hide it better) we can teach them to be encouraging.  It takes effort on our part.

I hope that I can learn from Amos' first grade teacher that creating an environment to build one another up is a great way to help kids express feelings that aren't all inward focused.