The Magic Of Kindness
I want to talk to you about why kindness matters, why we need to spread the word to parents everywhere about how important it is to teach our children about kindness and how wonderful it is to be kind.
Kindness isn’t just about doing good deeds, it’s about attitude – the smile you give, the words you say – even the things you think. A survey, carried out by The University of Columbia in 2012, at an Elementary School (Primary School equivalent), found that pupils who carried out acts of kindness were far more likely to be well liked, to have greater acceptance from their classmates. Even at a very young age we can appreciate and warm to kindness, to kind people.
In these days – where politics sometimes seem to be promoting division and difference, I believe that it’s up to us as parents, families with young children to help our children practice kindness. Kindness creates a ripple effect – not just on us, but also on ourselves.
- We’ve just mentioned that it makes us better liked, more popular – so it helps children feel a sense of belonging – one of our most important needs
- it makes you feel better about yourself, so it’s good for a child’s self esteem
- It helps children think more positively and lessens negative feelings like anger
- It releases happy hormones in the brain, so it can help reduce children’s worry or anxiety
- It helps children think about others and helps teach empathy – to be able to put themselves in someone else’s shoes and think about what others are feeling – this could help stop issues like bullying
So, all in all it’s good for our children’s emotional development and their wellbeing.
Here are three quick tips to encourage your children to practice being kind.
- Have a photoframe in your house, where everyone can see it – mine is from a Swedish furniture company and cost a few pounds for a set of four. It’s easy to insert a piece of paper or card in the frame. When your child does something kind, write it on the paper and display it for everyone to see – talk about it. This not only gives children examples of kindness – so they can understand it better. It also shows them that it is valued, pretty soon they’ll be doing more kind things and telling you about them.
- When you go to a supermarket with your child they love to get those plastic tokens at the checkout right? They love to put the token in the slot and watch it travel into the charity box. Why not stop a while and explain the charity, what it does or who it’s for. Even if your children are very young you can say simply “It’s for dogs who haven’t got a home” or “It’s for people who are feeling poorly” The child can help choose the box. They are learning about kindness and helping others. Not just playing a great game with a plastic coin!
- Practice kindness yourself! Children learn from watching you, listening to you. It’s great that you help an elderly relative with their shopping, but also remember that your words should be kind. If you’re then saying unkind things about others on your phone – what are you teaching them?
So, kindness can change a moment, a day, a life. It can change your child’s life