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Jackson and his mom at the award ceremony

When Your Child’s Kindness Makes You Proud

Jackson just finished third grade. It’s been a big year of change for him: new house, school and friends.

As an adult with adult expectations, I was prepared for him to struggle. I waited for him to prefer his old friends to making new ones and need time to adapt to new rules, teachers and SOLs.

Instead, he got straight-A’s all year long. He served as the student council association representative for his class. He made such an impression on the lunch monitor that she stopped me in the office to tell me he’s one of the best kids she’s ever had.

Jackson missed his old buddies, but he moved on. He made so many good friends at his new school. Just last week, he wistfully shared with me the importance of buying a yearbook so he could remember their faces all summer. (Heart swell!)

This week I sat at an awards ceremony and watched him accept P.E. Kid of the Year. He was the only boy in third grade to get it. It was the only award, besides honor roll, given out.

Now at first, it sounded like he was incredible at kickball. Or maybe he got sprinting around orange cones down to a science. That’s what I thought the award was about when the P.E. teacher called me Friday and told me to keep it a surprise for Jackson.

Instead, when it was time to give the award, I learned there was more to it than that. The award was given to the kid who always helped others, always had a good attitude and always went above and beyond every day. The recipient had to be a kid who never gave up and was able to let things go when they didn’t go their way.

Oh, my momma’s heart was exploding with pride listening to the P.E. teacher give his introduction.

Jackson is my oldest – my parenting guinea pig. Watching him become his own person has been one of the greatest joys of my life. Seeing him up at the front of the cafeteria, beaming with the trophy he earned all on his own, was such a special experience.

Sure, being a straight-A student is awesome. Don’t get me wrong. I’m so proud of his academic achievements.

Being recognized for being a good person … that’s what it’s really about. It’s about seeing how the things you teach your children from birth – qualities like resilience, kindness and hard work – manifest in their core character and stand out when you least expect it.

It may have been a year of change, but I think third grade turned out alright.

How do you inspire your kids to be kind? Check out our Kohl’s Kind Kids page and connect with CHKD’s #BeKindDoKind campaign

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About Jessica Woolwine

About Jessica   Woolwine Jessica Woolwine is a native of Hampton Roads and lives in Hampton with her three “miracles” Jackson (9), Abby (5) and Henry (1). As a mother to a childhood cancer survivor and a micro-preemie, she began the blog Mothering Miracles in 2014 to support other families dealing with health issues. Jessica also works as Creative Director for Rubin Communications Group and enjoys mixing her talents for graphic design and creative writing with community relations. She is a past member of both the CHKD Family Advisory Council and the CHKD NICU Family Advisory Council.