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encourage your child to be kind

Encouraging Your Children to Be Kind

In celebration of World Kindness Day, we’re sharing a few tips for encouraging your children to be kind. Fostering empathy is key to healthy social and emotional growth — plus, it makes the world a much nicer place.

Here are a few easy ways to promote kindness in your own home. For the little kids and the big kids in your life.

Promote Teamwork
Teach your child that everyone in the family works together — as a team. That means everyone helps! For the youngest of children, encourage them to pick up their toys, help set the table, or ‘make’ dinner (yes, your three-year-old can help toss the salad). But be sure to practice patience. Your child wants to help, but they’ll do things imperfectly at first. Being patient and encouraging — and forgoing criticism — will go a lot further than nagging.

Create a “Giving” Jar
Sometimes it’s helpful for children to ‘see’ kindness — in a very visual sense. Put a mason jar on your kitchen counter to collect change (either from purchases or the quarters in the couch). At the end of the month, discuss as a family where to donate your change. Talk about the idea of charities and how they help people. Or talk about a friend or family member that could use some kindness. Whether your child wants to buy gloves for a local charity or use the money to buy chocolate chips and send Grandma homemade cookies, giving them ownership of where the kindness is directed will go a long way!

be kind

Take Notice
The best way to help your child become a kinder person is to help them take notice of the people around them. If you notice your neighbor’s mail on the sidewalk, pick it up and deliver it.  A friend is feeling sad? Send them a note or give them a hug. Let someone with a tired {read: cranky} child go ahead of you in the grocery store line. Model kind behavior for your child and take note of the world and people around you. Be sure to share with your child why you’re doing what your were doing: We let Mrs. So-and-So go in front of us at the store because her baby was awfully tired. She needed to go home and take a rest — and we had a few minutes to spare. When your child does something kind for someone else, acknowledge it!

Has your child done something kind today? Acknowledge it with this fun “I Was Kind Today” KneeBouncers printable!