Tips to Promote Kindness and Respect
We so often hear the phrase “Be Kind.” The importance of kindness and respect is paramount.
We know that children as young as 3-6 can get stressed and grapple with negative emotions: emotions that can affect other family and friends in the same room. By being kind to one another, you can have the power to change someone’s entire day around if it started off badly or stressful.
So, how can we teach children to be kind to others? How can we improve student’s behavior and attitude towards themselves and others, creating a pleasant and positive environment?
Here are 3 tips and activities to foster kindness and increase a positive attitude amongst your students:
Give them Kindness Goals
Children as young as 3 years old can understand an assigned goal each week to be kind to someone else, and to themselves. Whether it’s saying please and thank you, helping another person carry something, or praising someone for doing something great, all these actions count as kindness towards others. It’s important you also stress kindness towards oneself. Encourage statements like “I’m really proud I did that” to help young children practice kindness towards themselves. Find a way to acknowledge or record a child’s acts of kindness until it becomes second nature. The beauty of acts of kindness is that it’s self-fulfilling so no external rewards are needed. Think about it. Doesn’t it feel good when you do something kind?
Encourage Kindness During Play Time
When playing a game in a group where children take turns, such as playing with dolls, or toys like Emotiblocks, encourage children to practice patience and kindness by being supportive of one another. For example, encourage statements like: “Great job!” “You got that so fast!”. When the game is over, tell your children to bump elbows or say “great game” no matter who won or lost. During play time with various toys like dolls, encourage positive statements as they play. “I like how you made that doll’s hair look, it looks really nice!” or “that outfit you picked out for your doll is really cute.” Consider a kindness rug in the doll play area to further reinforce kindness.
There are some great Rock Activity kits out there that started from the Kindness Rocks Project initiative, a movement where people of all ages paint and write positive messages on rocks to gift to others or leave around their neighborhood for others to find. These kindness activity kits come with everything you need to finish this project, but you don’t necessarily need them to do this great creative idea. Find some simple rocks around your neighborhood while out on a nature walk and providing some water-proof paint will do the trick. Encourage your child to paint using colors that reflect their moods. Have them gift the rocks to their siblings or parents, even their pets. You can also hide the rocks around the house and take turns going on a hunt.
By creating simple kindness activities every day, kindness slowly becomes the norm and you can help teach your children to be kind to others, and to themselves, on a regular basis.
This article was submitted by Miniland Educational.
Looking for more kindness ideas or activities? Check out 10 Tips for Cultivating Kindness and Ways to Teach Kindness in the Preschool Classroom.