Kindness is, without a doubt, one of the most important values we can instill in children from a young age.
Through kindness, children also learn about the importance of patience, acceptance, understanding, and many more skills that will help them grow up to be more well-rounded adults in the future.
But, as a parent, teacher or guardian, how can you help your child understand the importance of practicing kindness to everyone they meet?
And what are some ways you and your child can continue to instill the importance of remaining kind, no matter the situation, while at home, in the classroom, or in the playground?
I’ve rounded up three great ways you can begin to teach your child about kindness from an early age that might be helpful for you in the future. Let’s take a look!
- Teach by doing
Children look up to adults as role models. This is why, one of the simplest ways to teach your child to be kind is to be kind yourself.
Practice random acts of kindness with your neighbors, volunteer where you’re needed most, and make sure your child understands why you’re doing this and how they, too, can bring a little more kindness into the world by helping others.
Teach your child that their actions don’t have to be big to make an impact: sometimes, something as little as smiling at a friend on the playground and inviting them to play can help make their day a little brighter.
- Share stories of kindness
Along with showing your child what it means to be kind and how they, too, can practice kindness in their community, another great way to teach them about the importance of remaining kind is by sharing stories of kindness.
These can be in the form of personal stories, books, movies…the choice is yours! There are lots of different options out there made especially for children that highlight the importance of being good to one another.
Mind Body Green, for example, has a wonderful compilation of children’s books that touch upon the subject of wellbeing, including kindness.
Not only can these stories act as a powerful catalyst for children to unleash kindness wherever they go, they’re also a great way to develop other skills like their imagination, thinking skills, and more.
- “If you can’t say something kind…”
Kindness doesn’t just happen through actions, it also happens when we speak. That being said, a great way to encourage your child to be more kind is by teaching them the importance and power that words can hold and how speaking kindly can make a difference.
Make sure they understand that if they don’t have anything kind to say to someone, it’s best to stay quiet and think about why they might be feeling these negative emotions. Once they’ve had a chance to think, discuss with them the importance of never speaking up if what they say might hurt someone else’s feelings.
These are just three ways of many more that you can start with today to teach your child about the importance of kindness and how spreading a little light might make the difference between a “bad” and a “great” day for someone they know.
After all, a little kindness goes a long way.
What other ways have you tried in the past to teach children about the importance of kindness? Let me know in the comments ✨