“Compliments. I told my kids this morning before school to give someone a compliment today and they gave me an ‘ok cool’ look that made my insides feel cozy,” Simpson captioned an Instagram photo of herself, husband Eric Johnson and their children, son Ace Knute, 8, and daughter Maxwell Drew, 9, in the car. The couple’s 2-year-old daughter Birdie Mae, was not pictured.
“When I reflect on my childhood, growing up as a pastor’s daughter and the daughter of a pastor’s wife, I’m reminded in my own parenting of the simple teachings instilled within my heart to purely make/do/give a kind gesture to someone just at random everyday,” Simpson continued. “Complimenting others helped me step into the rooted foundation of honest character building. If we allow ourselves to just stop and examine intuition we can hear our soul directing us to who needs to hear kindness in that very moment. If compliments are hard for you to offer, start with giving yourself one first.”
Simpson’s post follows a flurry of celebrity first-day-of-school photos on social media, such as from Jennifer Garner, who thanked educators, scientists, and other moms for helping kids stay safe to Kelly Ripa who shared the “brutally painful” experience of empty nest syndrome, and Sarah Jessica Parker who admitted to feeling “gutted” about her children growing up.
On August 25, Simpson also shared that her eldest children were headed to a new school after 18 months of remote learning. And her advice for being kind to new classmates is a lovely way to spread joy and confidence.
It’s not enough to simply teach our kids they shouldn’t bully others — we must also teach them to be caring and empathetic.
“The real test of parenting is not what your children achieve, but who they become and how they treat others,” Adam Grant, an organizational psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business, wrote in a 2019 article published in The Atlantic. “If you teach them to be kind, you’re not only setting your kids up for success. You’re setting up the kids around them, too.”
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