Encouraging your children to be kind to others is more than just being nice. It’s also encouraging them to start a healthy lifelong habit. Displaying kindness improves mental health wellbeing, as a sense of helpfulness and happiness are experienced, and it also sets an example for others to follow.
Doing a kind act for another doesn’t have to be large in gesture, and it doesn’t even have to cost anything, but perhaps a few seconds of time.
Kindness is a common theme in children’s books, and here are a few favorites!
Josephine’s First Day of School by Signe Boutch
How Full is Your Bucket by Tim Rath
The Berenstain Bears: Kindness Counts by Jan and Mike Berenstain
Howard B. Wigglebottom the the Power of Giving by Reverend Ana
Need some suggestions to help your child start their own acts of kindness? Here are a few to get their list started!
- Hold the door for someone
- Pick up something someone has dropped
- Write a note or draw a picture as a surprise gift
- Read a book to someone who can’t read
- Share a toy with a friend
- Find a way to help a neighbor
- Say please and thank you
- Put away your belongings without being asked
- Let someone else on the swings or slide first
- Help make dinner
Challenge your child to do one kind act a day for a month, and see how many people they make smile! Remind them too, that a kind act doesn’t always need to be acknowledged. It doesn’t even need to be known that they did it! It’s the doing that matters.
They could put a sticker each day on a calendar or drop a marble into a jar to see how many days in a row they can do something for someone else. Before long, that simple act of kindness becomes a way of life!