We live in a really harsh world. Everywhere you look you hear stories of bullying and horrible things going on. I hate to think of sending my kids out there into it all. But the only way I can change the bigger picture is to start at home by teaching my kids to be kind to others. Just like everything else important in life this is not something we can leave to be taught by others. It has to start at home and as soon as possible. It has to be deliberate.
I received compensation from Ripil for this post. All opinions are my own.
Here ware five ways to teach your child that kindness matters.
1.) Be an Example- Everything in life comes down to this. Your kids watch what you are doing more than they hear what you are saying. Speak kindly to others, speak kindly to them. Let them see you serve others. When you take dinner to a friend who has a new baby, let them help! They will see that these things are important to you and that they make you happy.
2.) Teach Them To Speak Kindly- When you kids yell at their siblings ask them to rephrase what they are saying. I feel like a broken record but the sentence, “Can you think of a kind way to say that?” leaves my mouth a million times a day.
3.) Read Books With Kindness Messages- Books are a great way to introduce and discuss any topic with your kids. Kids love to read and talk about books so use them to open up conversations with them. There are a ton of books out there, but Horton Hears a Who by Dr. Seuss is one of my favorites for talking about kindness.
4.) Pitch In & Work Together- Show your kids that you work together as a family. That we all do chores and work together because we love each other, not because of allowance or rewards. For example chores like cleaning up your toys, picking up your dirty laundry and helping clear the table after dinner are things kids are expected to do because they are grateful for what they have and are part of your family team. Extra chores like vacuuming or window cleaning could be used for them to earn money etc.
5.) Track Your Kindness- I recently started using Ripil. Ripil is a free app that let’s you log your kind deeds and see how they keep going and affecting others. Much like a ripple in a pond kindness starts as a small drop but can spread to something much bigger. Log in and start a kindness challenge with your friends. For example challenge your friends to buy someones drink and enter it into the app. A map will keep track of everyone who participates and you can literally watch your kindness spread around the world. Super cool, right?!
My favorite thing about this app is it provides a deed of the day. For the past few days me and my three-year-old have been doing them together and it has been a blast. Things like mowing a lawn, or taking cookies to a friend. Today’s was to give someone a hug! We had so much fun spreading the love!
The best thing is that when we really started using Ripil and pointing out kind deeds, he has wanted to do more. In turn there has been less fighting and more small caring moments that I have noticed between him and his sister. It has been so fun. Kindness is something you can’t stop spreading once you do, and isn’t that what we need more of in this world?
How do you teach your kids to be kind?