The world is changing at an unpredictable rate. Everything is becoming digitized, automated and monitored, and society is moving at increasing speeds. The way we manage our household, shop, work, handle day-to-day matters and live is changing. People are getting busier and working longer hours and manners seem to be disappearing. This means it is more important than ever to teach your children how to be kind in a changing world. Read the tips below:
- Instil the importance of good manners from a young age.
Children who learn good manners from a young age are more likely to be well-mannered adults. Children are also very impressionable and will model the behaviour of the adults in their life.
2. Teach children to think about kind and unkind behaviour and the ramifications of each type. Use examples from books, tv shows and / or make up situations. Have open discussions about kindness/unkindness.
3. Encourage your child to do one kind gesture a day. You might consider making a kindness chart which you mark when your child has performed an act of kindness. When they have achieved a week of kind gestures, give them a little reward (this doesn’t have to be something store bought – it could be as simple as doing a puppet show for them or making a treat).
💡 Activity: Prepare some ‘random acts of kindness’ cards and carry out a seven-day random acts of kindness challenge with your child. Here are some free cards. Go to: https://www.collingwood.ca/sites/default/files/docs/kindness_cards.pdf?ref=tfrecipes
https://assets.randomactsofkindness.org/downloads/make_kindness_the_norm_neighborhood_challenge.pdf?ref=tfrecipes (Random Acts of Kindness booklet)
4. Read books about kindness. There are lots of great books about kindness including: We’re All Wonders by R.J Palacio, Words and your Heart by Kate Jane Neal, Mixed by Arree Chung, In my Heart by Jo Witek and Windows by Patrick Guest and Jonathan Bentley.
💡Activity: Read some stories about kindness to your children and talk about the story together.
5. Limit their use on technological devices; get them out in nature and encourage creativity and imagination. Research is showing that too much time spent on technological devices can negatively affect a child’s focus, concentration, sleep and moods. Set up boundaries regarding technological use.
6. Teach them gratitude. Every night at dinner, ask your child what he/she is grateful for. This is an activity that the whole family can enjoy.
7. Play kindness games. Engaging in kindness games is a fun way to promote the value of kindness. 💡💡 Activity: Play a kindness game where the family stands in a circle and each person takes turns throwing the ball to someone. The thrower needs to give a compliment to the person who catches the ball e.g. You are very helpful, You have nice eyes, You are good at Maths etc.
Let’s teach our children the gift of kindness and start a kindness revolution. It all starts with us.
Helen Anderson – Kindness Cultivator
B Ed, B Bus, Adv. Dip of Nutrition, Dip of Counselling, Dip of Life Coaching
Disclaimer: These activities do not replace the advice of any medical practitioners. Always seek advice from a doctor or medical practitioner if you have any concerns.
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