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Just be Kind

Updated: Oct 10, 2019

This morning I set out with the intention of writing a post about World Mental Health day on 10th October. I made a cup of coffee (and maybe grabbed a biscuit or two!) and sat down at the laptop but, being a procrastinator of the highest order, I thought I'd have a quick scroll on social media before I got started. In the space of 20 minutes I was made aware that it is ADHD awareness month, that it is also Dyslexia and Dyspraxia awareness week and that the NHS and Public Health England have today launched their Every Mind Matters campaign. I watched a clip of Ant and Dec speaking passionately on Saturday's Britain's Got Talent launching ITV's Britain Get Talking campaign. I read a range of comments representing many different views: applauding the efforts of the companies and individuals trying to raise awareness of these issues; stating that we are labelling too much; that we don't label enough; that these issues simply didn't exist in the past; that it’s about time we started talking about such things; that we should stop making excuses, and so on.

The comments I read made me stop and think. In a world in which digital connection has increased, human connection is being lost. Kindness and empathy are being replaced with cynicism and apathy. By raising awareness of these issues and encouraging people to talk about them openly we are encouraging human connection. We are promoting the message that everyone has their own struggles; that not all disabilities are visible; that we don't always know what someone else is going through and that it’s important, above all else, to be kind.

As someone who believes in promoting positivity and well-being in children, I certainly have my own views. For me it’s simple: if we teach all children the skills to understand and manage their emotions; to be resilient, respectful, positive and kind, then we are giving them the best possible chance of growing up to be well- rounded, emotionally literate adults who have the tools to deal with whatever obstacles they may need to overcome. Many of the issues that our children and young people face are ones that we did not encounter as children ourselves. The world has changed, and we need to change with it. We shouldn't wait for a problem to arise or a diagnosis to be made before we take the opportunity to teach these vital life skills.

You may agree, you may not. Either way be kind.

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