Our neighborhood currently has multiple yard signs that simply read “Be Kind”. Kindness seems to be more and more rare. Yet kindness is not always what the world thinks it is.
Kindness is not just being nice. Sometimes, the kindest thing to do doesn’t always seem so nice. If someone has spinach in her teeth, it may not seem very nice to point it out to her. However, done with love, it can be very kind – especially if she is getting ready to stand in front of her class to give a report.
So what are some things you can do with your kids to help them be kind to those around them? Here are a few of our favorites.
- Kindness challenge. There are plenty of people who are kind when it is easy or when they think they will get something in return. Being kind when there is nothing to gain or when it may cost your kids something is tougher. Challenge them to think of times it is tough to be kind. Can they choose to be kind anyway? Spend time each day talking about their efforts at kindness during the day.
- It’s how you say it. This game is great for helping kids learn how to speak the truth with love. Give them scenarios where the kindest thing is to tell the truth. If they are careless with their words though, they can do as much harm as good. Have them say what they would say to the person. You can give points for kind, truthful responses or to the child who does the best job at speaking the truth with love.
- Kindness manners. Manners are a way to show kindness to others…to put others needs before their own. Pretend you are having tea with the “Queen” or some other time the very best manners would be expected. See if your kids can get through the experience with great manners. As you have your “tea and crumpets”, talk about the ways good manners are showing kindness to others.
- Be kind to family week. Sometimes, we can be kind to everyone but our family. Challenge your kids to meet a kindness challenge for a week. Talk about the ways your family members are often unkind to each other. Consider having a family celebration at the end of the week and encourage continued kindness to each other.
Kindness is not just being nice, having good manners or helping others…but they are all part of it. Finding ways to regularly practice kindness can help your kids be kind to others naturally.