5 Tips to Encourage Kindness

Monday, July 29th, 2019

It’s been said that kindness is contagious. If that’s true, then how do we make sure our children and the young people we work with catch the kindness bug?

There are ways to foster kind behavior in children. Here are five tips on how you can encourage children to be kind to others:

  1. Teach empathy.

Being empathetic means that you can understand and be sensitive to the feelings of others. Teach children how to be considerate of other people’s feelings. When someone you know experiences a difficult time, try discussing with the children how that person may feel. Then ask how the young people in your group would feel if they were in the same situation.

  • 2. Point out kindness when you see it.

We all experience the kindness of others every day. Try pointing out these moments to young people when they happen. For example, by saying things like “that was really nice of your friend to help clean the room,” you’ll draw a direct correlation between a person’s helpful act and how good it made the child feel. It will give them a clear picture of kindness at work.

  • 3. Encourage them to give kindness.

Ask the children in your group to give an example of a time when they have been kind to others in the past. Then encourage them to think of ways they can help a friend, neighbor or family member. Even simple acts like sharing a toy or helping an elderly neighbor with yardwork is bound to make someone else feel good.

  • 4. Set a good example.

It’s no secret that kids learn by watching others. Make sure that they see you exhibiting kind behavior. For example, instead of showing irritation the next time you notice that a young person left their plate on the table after a group meal, try going over and throwing away the trash without showing that you are annoyed at that individual. Kids will take note of how you behave toward others and will be more likely to remember it the next time they are in a similar situation.

  • 5. Don’t let your kids talk to you in an unkind way.

Allowing your children to speak rudely to you will send a message to them that it’s acceptable to speak to others like that. When teaching kindness, it’s important to be consistent. Speak kindly to your kids and insist that they speak the same way to you.

Kindness is all around us. Taking time to recognize it and point it out to children will help create a blueprint for kind behavior that they can easily follow in the future.