The new school year is just around the corner, and parents and grandparents are already working hard to ensure a smooth start for their offspring. New purchases, home rearrangements, schedule updates, all those preparatory activities are happening now.

Nowadays you can pretty much purchase anything to ensure an easy and smooth start of the new school year. So, I believe that we need to focus more on the “unpurchaseable” things that our children and grandchildren need to take with them on the first school day. And on every school day, for that matter.

So, what are those things you could help your grandchildren take to school? With a mile-long shopping list, they probably have all the tangible things covered. But, I believe that no amount of school supplies, new clothing and equipment will be enough unless our children also carry with them:

 
 

Kindness

A brand-new themed backpack full of notebooks and pens is great, but in the jungle of school life it will not play a major role. What our children need is to practice kindness to themselves and others.

A kinder school community will not only create a fertile learning environment, but also a basis for future long-term interests and relationships. Kindness is the foundation for all social engagement.

Love of Learning

Learning can be hard, painful and laborious. Sometimes it is a play, too, and it is always worth it. The joy and deep satisfaction that comes from learning new things is something to cherish during the span of our whole lives.

School is the place to instill the love of learning in children. If we support them in their learning adventures they will have that advantage their whole life. Love of learning means that we embrace the effort that comes with it, as well as the rewards.

Respect and Gratitude

Along with kindness, respect and gratitude are the foundation of a happy community and healthy individuals. We all want our children and grandchildren to be respectful and grateful, particularly when we are not watching.

Just like most things, they will learn not from what we say to them, but from our actions. If we practice respect and gratitude as a way of being, it will be a powerful message to them. And those things are contagious. Let’s make our schools full of it!

Patience

In the instant-gratification civilization that surrounds us, it is difficult to teach children patience. But, the one thing that cannot be obtained instantly is the most important of all – a fulfilling life.

A fulfilling life is built from many good and bad moments, and from the growing, maturing and learning that happens along the way. To reach the fleeting moments of fulfillment, patience is needed. This is why it’s essential to pack up patience, too.

What would you add to this packing list? What are the most important values you feel it is important to share with your grandchildren? Please join the discussion below!

Ana PopovicAna Popovic is a positive aging advocate and writer and editor of Midlife Joys. She is passionate about providing better role models for young women by empowering the older ones. Her website promotes positive aging.

Let's Have a Conversation!