It hits home that I’m writing this article today. Today I had to deal with some not very kind things happening in my classroom. Let me preface this by saying I teach phenomenal kids. I love spending time with them and they are just the best. They come from loving families who are so supportive too. I try with every ounce of my being to create a classroom community where they want to be kind, nurturing, respectful, etc.
But they are still kids, and kids can be mean. Today it was some snickers about a student’s lunch – because it didn’t look the same as theirs – and it left the child in tears. The lunch personally looked and smelled delicious to me, but kids like to point out things that are different – and it doesn’t matter what it is.
I, of course, addressed it immediately in my classroom, but there needs to be more than that. We need to keep the conversation about kindness alive year-round, not just on today – World Kindness Day. Kindness needs to stay at the forefront, especially in this day and age of social media, apps, online messaging, texting, and frankly, kids are growing up earlier and earlier (or so it seems). If children learn kindness from little on, hopefully, they will continue to be kind as they get older.
And I don’t just mean the random acts of kindness check-lists you see on Pinterest. Those are certainly wonderful and I’m all for that intentional kindness. Those little things you can teach your kids to do and model are really important. But I’m also talking about being kind even when no one else is looking. Treating others the way you want to be treated even if it goes against what’s popular. Without recognition. Simply because it’s the right thing to do. That is what is hard, especially in today’s culture.
So what can we do to help kids learn kindness? What can we do to make sure they are being kind even when others aren’t looking? I tried to put together some resources to help you. Please start today, on World Kindness Day, but please also keep working on it all year long! It will make a difference. You will make a difference. Your child will make a difference!
Watch These Videos Together
I put down a few videos that you could watch together as a family. These are fun ways to bring about important conversations!
Read (listen) to this Book as a Family!
The Jelly Donut Difference is a phenomenal book to share some important lessons. The author is sharing her book on YouTube and is the one reading it! It’s definitely worth checking out!
Use this List of Ideas!
It is important to show random acts of kindness! Here is a quick list that gives some ideas, specifically for kids! I especially love the ones that don’t cost money – so kids can see that kindness is free!
100 Random Acts of Kindness for Kids – from Coffee Cups and Crayons
Add These Books to Your Bedtime Book List!
These are just a few favorites that help teach kindness lessons for different ages and stages!
Go See Wonder as a Family in the Theater!
I recently wrote a blog post about Wonder for this site! It’s definitely worth checking out the book and now movie as a family!