Teaching Kindness

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Children are constantly told to be nice to others. But what does that really mean? There are many opportunities in your day-to-day life where you can teach this to your child.  Here are four ways to model kindness activities through daily tasks.

Work together.

Ask your child for help with projects, like cooking in the kitchen. Ask them what they would like to do to help! When taking a walk, suggest that they pick flowers to give to someone to brighten their day. You can also work as a team when doing things like cleaning up toys. These experiences can be valuable learning opportunities to talk about kindness.

Use your manners.

Walk the walk, and talk the talk. Model good manners and behavior by saying “please”, “thank you”, or “no thank you” to the cashier at the grocery store or a server at a restaurant. Children learn through others. You can praise your child’s kindness by stating how their contribution benefited others. For instance, you could say “thank you for giving your sister a toy. That was thoughtful!”

Use kind words and smile.

It is important for children to learn the power of kind words. You can exhibit this to your child through compliments such as “I love the red blocks you used to make that house!”  Children can then take the compliments you’ve given them and share them with their friends.

You can also ask your child what they like about something. For instance, you could ask “what is your favorite part of this picture you colored? My favorite part is the blue clouds.” This will teach your child a nice way of paying compliments. Smile and laugh with them! Happiness is contagious.

It’s not just about being kind to people.

Teach respect for the earth by discussing environmental kindness. Have your child throw trash in the garbage instead of litter, or collect cans from home and recycle them at your local supermarket. Being respectful to the environment teaches children to be respectful to others.

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