Instilling good values and character in my kids is something I strive to do daily. As a parent, I’m their first and most influential educator in life so what I do and say has a huge impact on how they turn out as adults. I’ve learned it’s so important to remember that “actions speak louder than words” because it’s true, and that “do as I say, not as I do” goes in one ear and out the other. One of my favorite things to do is to show kindness to others while teaching my kids is by doing random acts of kindness. Education.com says that instilling this habit in children not only helps to make the world a better place, but also empowers kids and helps them practice empathy. Plus they develop their interpersonal skills as they interact with the people to whom they’re showing kindness.
Books and Movies About Kindness
Books are a great teaching tool and help kids see that other people are discussing the same topic. On your next library visit, be sure to look for these:
- Great Joy by Kate DiCamillo
- Kindness Is Cooler, Mrs. Ruler by Margery Cuyler
- Ordinary Mary’s Extraordinary Deed by Emily Pearson
- The Kindness Quilt by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace
- The Bernstein Bears: Kindness, Caring, and Sharing (DVD)
Brainstorm A List of RAKs
After a discussion about doing random good deeds for others, sit down with the kids and grab a small notebook to brainstorm a list of ways you can show kindness to others. Ideally you’ll want a mix of free and inexpensive actions so kids can see that there are plenty of things they can do on their own, even if they don’t have any pocket money. Here are some Random Acts of Kindness to start with:
- Let someone go in front of you in line at the store.
- Buy a potted plant and leave it on a neighbor’s porch.
- Help an elderly person carry their groceries to their car.
- Volunteer at your house of worship or a community event.
- Sing songs to residents of a nursing home.
- Pay for the order behind you in the drive-thru.
- Hand out cold bottled water to people you see working outdoors on hot days.
- Send a card to a soldier.
- Hand out tutus and headbands to little girls in the children’s wing of the hospital.
- Double your server’s tip at the restaurant.
Need some inspiration? The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation has a page dedicated to ideas, and of course Pinterest has plenty of ideas as well. What are some random acts of kindness that you’ve done or been the recipient of? Share in the comments!