When children learn to be kind, they’re set up for life. Kindness can be taught and it starts with you. Showing your kiddo how to do good deeds can improve their well-being, develop positive motivations and increase their self-esteem. When kids are kind, they also get a better understanding of their own privilege, appreciate what they have, and empathize with others. Plus, when children are kind instances of violence and bullying are less likely to occur.
By showing your little one how to perform simple acts of kindness, you’re also showing them how to be compassionate, generous, and giving. We often use the word “perform” when it comes to doing good but it’s not a performance. When your child learns to be kind through various actions, they won’t be putting on a show, they’ll be proud of themselves and there’ll be nothing performative about it.
We’ve compiled a list of six kind acts that you can do with your child to show them how kindness works, and how our smart companion, Snorble®, can help create a kinder tomorrow for your kiddo (more on that in a bit).
Six acts of kindness that you can do with your kiddo
This is a loose guide and we encourage you to involve your child in the discussion of which act(s) you decide make the most sense for your family. The reason we’ve chosen these particular acts of kindness is they don’t require much except a few dollars and a little love.
What’s the cutest thing ever? A smiling child! By showing your kiddo how to smile safely and comfortably, you’re giving them an outlet for happiness. That’s great, you say, but where’s the act of kindness? It’s in their smile. Seeing another person smile is contagious and could make someone’s day. However, err on the side of caution when it comes to who your youngster is smiling at. You can make a “smile at” list with them and decide who in your lives could use a quick pick-me-up whether it’s a neighbor or bus driver or even a sibling who is having a bad day.
Attack with compliments
Just like a smile can make someone’s day, a compliment goes a long way. Showing your little one how to compliment people will lead to acts of kindness. By teaching your child how compliments can be beneficial to the giver and receiver, you’re also teaching them about cause and effect. For instance, give your kiddo a simple compliment and then ask them how they feel after hearing it. Then ask them to give you a compliment and explain how you feel afterward. Eventually, your little one will give compliments to their friends and family in earnest when they understand the positive effect this simple gesture can have.
Be perfectly polite
Teaching your child to say “please” is an easy act of kindness that can be done daily. When your kiddo understands how powerful these simple words are, you’ll create a monster, a monster of love and respect. Being polite is the perfect way to instill kindness in your child that won’t take much effort on your part as long as you set a good example. When your little one sees you thanking others and saying sorry when you make a mistake, they’ll follow suit.
Say thank you for services
We often take for granted the people in our lives that aren’t a part of our Village. From teachers to cashiers at your local grocery store to the crossing guard that ensures your kiddo gets across the street safely, these people make the world a better place and are often ignored. Have your child pick their favorite non-family member or friend and craft a thank you note. This little act of kindness can go a long way, especially if your kiddo can hand-deliver it.
Put carts in their place
The grocery store is a very interesting locale. People leave their carts strewn about the parking lot and entrance when they’re done with their shopping. Some people are allergic to putting items back in their place when they realize they don’t need them. How many times have you seen a random banana in the frozen food section? However, you can be the exception by showing your little one a simple act of kindness: putting your cart back in the corral when you’re done. This helps your youngster understand that kind behavior doesn’t always have to be a grand gesture. Something as simple as returning a shopping cart to its rightful place or putting items back where they belong when you don’t need them is a behavior that works at home too. Finished with that toy? Put it back where it belongs until you want to play with it again.
Give the gift of toiletries and socks
For this act of kindness, you’ll need a few plastic bags (or toiletry bags), travel-size shampoos, toothpaste, toothbrushes, bandaids and deodorants, and pairs of socks. You can pick up these items at the dollar store and you and your kiddo can make gift bags to donate to shelters in your community. In doing so, your child will learn about those less fortunate and see how their kind act of giving essential items can make a huge impact.
Invest in kindness with Snorble
Our interactive smart companion is designed to prepare children for school through play-based learning initiatives. Besides educational games, healthy habit-building exercises, and a customizable bedtime routine complete with a nightlight and soothing soundscapes, there’s also a reward system where you can gift your little one virtual stars when they complete certain tasks. Moreover, Snorble has yoga and mindfulness activities to give your youngster the tools they need to be a kind, well-rounded individual as they develop their social-emotional skills.
Photo by Moses Vega on Unsplash