“When given the choice of being right or being kind, choose KIND.”
Dr. Wayne W. Dyer
Kindness is a learned character trait that needs to be taught to our children. Kindness takes work! If it were the norm, then our world would be a very different place. So what is Kindness? Here is the Oxford definition:
kindness: the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate.
It is important that our children understand what that definition means and what it looks like in their everyday life. Here are a few ways that you can teach your children about the concept of kindness.
- Define Kindness –Talk with your kids about the meaning of kindness. What do they think it means? What do they think it looks like? Let them know that being kind takes work and effort but it is so worth it.
- Model Kindness–One of the best ways to teach children about kindness is to model it for them every day. Children watch our every move and if we are working hard to model kindness with our words and actions, they will see this. They also need to see that we are human and that we make mistakes. If you are unkind, talk with your children about how you made a mistake and share with them some ways in which you are going to show kindness in the future.
- Read Books about Kindness–My favorite way to teach children about KINDNESS is through literature. A good book will act as a springboard for rich conversation about the meaning of kindness and how we can show kindness to others. Discuss where they see kindness in the story or what they would do if they were in the shoes of the character.
4. Teach Children about Empathy–Empathy and kindness go hand and hand and both are learned traits. Check out our post all about teaching children about empathy.
5. Keep Track of Kind Deeds–Small children need concrete and visual ways to see their kindness in action. When my children were small we used a Kindness Chain to keep track of their kind deeds. Every time someone in the house noticed that someone else did something kind, a link would be added to the chain. Anytime we did a service project or a kind deed for someone outside of our home, we would add a link. My kids loved seeing their kind deeds grow and were encouraged to do more and more kind things as a result.
6. Create a Family Kindness Jar–-My family has had a kindness jar for many year. It is filled with possible good deeds that we can do and when we want to spread kindness, we grab our jar. Click HERE for a free printable and instructions on how to make your own Kindness Jar.
7. Family Service Projects–Here are a few projects that you can do with your children to spread kindness around your community! Click on an image below to learn more about that project.
A Clip from one of our FAVORITE movies WONDER
(Lionsgate Film November 2017).
The two books Wonder and Auggie and Me by R.J. Palacio were so great!!