“The goal of Each One Reach One is to encourage our kids to support one another through small, everyday acts,” Jaclyn Stapp writes in her new PEOPLE blog
April 26, 2019 04:45 PM
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
Get push notifications with news, features and more.
You’ll get the latest updates on this topic in your browser notifications.
Spring is in the air, and along with it, beautiful, blooming flowers and brighter, warmer days. But for me, the last month has been far from rainbows and sunshine. If anything, I’ve been weathering my own personal storm.
You see, I recently attended my daughter’s middle-school orientation … and it was a full-force wake-up call that rattled my world. It was lovely, sure — but as a mother, I have to admit it was more than a little scary.
Our little girl, Milán, is a tween now, and will soon enter sixth grade. This is, of course, a special milestone for both of us. But I also know that middle school is a much more complicated social landscape. And navigating this new world is not always easy.
RELATED: Jaclyn Stapp’s Blog: All the Details from Our Son Anthony’s Sesame Street First Birthday Bash
Body-image concerns, crushes, bullying and the agony of rejection — these are just a few of the challenges kids face in middle school. Grown-ups often give well-meaning advice such as “Be nice,” “Help others” and “Don’t pass on gossip,” but for some tweens that’s easier said than done. They have no idea how to put these words into action in the classroom, at the lunch table or on social media.
Even thinking about these issues as a parent can be overwhelming. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned — through my work with CHARM, as an advocate for mental-health awareness, as a parent and as a former tween myself — even the tiniest of gestures can have a life-changing impact.
So my tween and I are starting by making a difference with just one person. We came up with a plan we call Each One Reach One: Each week, we would challenge each other to reach out to one new person.
Simple, right? Yes — but it started working immediately.
Courtesy Jaclyn Stapp
RELATED VIDEO: Another Baby on the Way for Scott Stapp and Wife Jaclyn: “This Is a Huge Surprise”
That first week, I called a neighbor who rarely goes to our community events and invited her to go out for coffee with me. Milán, meanwhile, invited a very shy friend over for a play date. It felt good to spark those positive connections. And it felt even better to see the smiles on their faces.
The goal of Each One Reach One is to encourage our kids to support one another through small, everyday acts: Join someone sitting alone at lunch. Pick the shy girl to be your partner in class. Call a camp friend just to let her know you miss her. The smallest ripple of kindness can become a wave of change.
You can even start in your own family! Milán practiced at home by being kinder to her brother — and now he’s brought Each One Reach One to his school. Both he and Milán are on a roll at Sunday school, with their basketball teammates, at family events and with classmates from all walks of life.
Amanda Rein/Suitcase & Camera
More from Jaclyn’s PEOPLE.com blog series:
- Jaclyn Stapp’s Blog: A Father’s Day Tribute to My Husband (and Our Hero!) Scott
- Jaclyn Stapp’s Blog: And the Beat Goes On — Even with Baby Anthony
- Jaclyn Stapp’s Blog: Inside My Son Anthony’s Amazing Fit-for-a-Prince Nursery
- Jaclyn Stapp’s Blog: “Life Is Beautiful — But I Am Out of Shape” After Baby
- Jaclyn Stapp’s Blog: I’m in the Home Stretch of My Pregnancy — and (Hopefully) Headed to the Hospital Soon!
Milán recently celebrated her birthday at the new Soundwaves indoor water park at the Gaylord Opryland hotel in Nashville. Complete with a music-themed cake and slumber party in the penthouse suite, she definitely felt like a little rock star. In my eyes, though, seeing her surrounded by good friends and being kind, considerate and thoughtful on her special day is what truly made her shine.
The year ahead will be full of challenges, that much is certain. But watching my children actively choose to be kind and making the world around them a bit brighter in the process has made me a very proud mom.
For my own family, and hopefully for many others, Each One Reach One is the start of a happier, more hopeful journey. Life will always have its ups and downs … but it may not hurt as much when you know someone out there really cares.