It’s no small task inserting the Kindness gene into our growing offspring. When your child is small they are kind because there’s a goal in mind (‘if you ask politely you’ll get an ice cream/biscuit/TV’) and when they are a bit older it works because they are proud as a peacock with praise (see-look-how-I-nicely-I-shared-my-toy). But then somehow the magic happens all by itself when they are about seven or eight, it becomes an intrinsic trait and they are kind because they actually get something back from being kind.
They say kind children grow up to be kind adults. We reckon if you can nail politeness and manners then you are pretty much there. Miss Manners has kindly offered her assistance in the matter with her Five K’s no matter what stage of the kindness journey your child is at. Kindness. Rules.
Kindness is a language the deaf can hear and the blind can see
– Mark Twain –
KIND WORDS Kindness is your sparkle and can never be overused. However the kid (or parent!) boasting about their test scores, cursing or mean name calling in the playground puts our teeth on edge and brings out that Mama Bear in us all. So make sure your child gets the if-you-don’t-have-anything-nice-to-say-don’t-say-anything-at-all memo.
KIND HUGS Seeing your child hug another child unprompted in greeting or when they are upset is just about the cutest thing ever. Hugs shouldn’t be under rated. And they say a hug lasting 10 seconds or more can relieve stress in an adult. Just imagine what a 5 second hug does for a child? Bear hugs, teddy bear hugs, sofa snuggle hugs, hugs with a pet are all great. We’re all about the hugging it out!
KIND EARS We’ve all experienced the kid who arrives at our house with zero listening skills and apparent sellotape over their ears. It pays to have ears because sometimes the art of being kind is really hearing and not just listening to what others say.
KIND PLAY Probably the trickiest to navigate with younger kids as they are grasping the concept of sharing and taking turns. Using the ‘sharing is caring’ mantra can work wonders. But pick your battles: you might want to turn a blind eye when your child refuses to share the toy with the snotty nosed kid who has just thumped her on the head for no apparent reason.
KIND FOOTSTEPS A kind word, a helping hand or a gentle touch between parents at home set the right foundations for life. If your child can see you as role models then they will be able to create kindness footsteps of their own. Why not create a Kindness Jar in your home and share the pom pom love! (see Fun Stuff/Kindness Jars)