School is centered around reading, writing and arithmetic. The focus seems to be on timed tests, words per minute and academic performance, yet as a mom of a 7 and 8 year old, it occurred to me that school is not necessarily teaching kids how to get along.

After a week of coaching my daughter on how to deal with a mean girl at school I realized that – just as she needs reading, writing and arithmetic – she also needs what I call the 3 Cs: confidence, care and class.

I also want to be clear that these are three things that should be taught directly by parents at home and practiced at school, reinforced by teachers.

Although reading, writing and arithmetic are essential for success, there are other qualities that I find, as a mother, are essential for life. Yes folks, we need to raise kids that are also classy, confident and caring in order to get along in life and produce well-rounded, respectful members of society.

Confidence

If you’ve read my other post about raising confident daughters, you know that confidence is key to getting through life. Since knowledge comes from asking questions, kids need the confidence to know that they are not alone if they don’t understand something and that they need to ask. They need to have the confidence to stand up for themselves, stand up to the mean kid in class or the boy they date, and they need the confidence to dream. To believe that they are capable of whatever they want to accomplish.

Caring

Let’s teach our kids to care about others. To make friends with the new kid in class, to have the confidence to stand up to bullies. To help a friend in need. Let’s teach them to use their words, because sometimes it may be a simple act of theirs that can change the day or the life of another. Explain to them why the mean kid is mean. How she is insecure and wants to make others feel bad to make herself feel better. Explain the social situations they may find themselves in so they can be the game changer for someone.

Class

Yes you heard it. I sometimes see young girls in public and I just want to run up and help them. Teach them that what they think is cool, is far from it. Let’s teach our daughters how to be classy. Let’s teach them that less is not always better. Let’s teach them to cover their bodies so they and others respect it. Teach them how to host, how to act. Teach them to rely on their confidence and not disrespect themselves. Teach them they don’t need to throw themselves at boys to get the good ones. Teach them to tastefully decline an invite or a date. The world needs some class and its up to us to save it.