Be Nice to the New Kid

School started last week for us, yesterday for the schools in our area. I was the “new kid” several times growing up, and my own kids have been the newbies quite a few times as well, so I have a soft spot for those coming into a brand new school.

It’s especially hard when entering a school where the rest of the students have known each other for a while. They have all the friends they need, and the new kid gets ignored. Or made fun of. Or treated like an extraterrestrial (“What was school like where you came from?”).

So if you are one of the “old timers” reading this, here are some tips to help the new kids feel welcomed in your school (youth group/job/sport…):

  • Greet them. You have no idea how great a “Hi, Krista!” feels to a new kid.
  • Help them find their “niche” – whether a sport or a club or whatever – finding a place to belong helps the student and your school (she may be the best setter your volleyball team has ever seen!)
  • Squash the gossip. It’s so easy to find things to “discuss” about new kids. Sometimes they talk differently, dress differently, or act differently. Don’t gossip about those differences – ask the new kid about them. Get to know him/her.
  • Invite them to hang out with you. Save a seat for the new kid at lunch, ask him/her to sit with you at the football game, invite him/her to the movies with your friends.
  • Be their friend. I know you can’t be BFF’s with every new kid, but you may find one in the newbies coming this year. Don’t miss out on a friendship God wants you to have by being shy or waiting for someone else to welcome the new kid. You do it!

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