Acts of Kindness with Your Young Children

The month of October is National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month. Hopefully, you have been able to read the posts our school counselor, Jill Thomas, has been writing that provide many insights on character development. This month, at all of our Fairmont campuses, we are emphasizing acts of kindness. With our children, it isn’t enough simply to say “be nice.” Though we say that often as they learn to navigate relationships with their friends, as parents, we need to go one step further. We need to lead by example and model those positive behaviors for and with our little ones because it can be challenging for young children to understand feelings and their powers to initiate feelings in others.

One way to teach your child the importance of being kind to others is to talk to them about giving compliments. I was at the doctor’s office today, and this lovely 83-year-old woman (she volunteered her age) complimented my skin, and just an hour later at the grocery store, a kind gentleman at the checkout lane complimented my outfit. You know that feeling of smiling on the inside so much that it radiates to the outside and puts a really big smile on your face for others to see? That is what I was feeling.Nothing feels better than when you let yourself smile. Challenge yourself and your child to give an authentic compliment to the next person you see. Fewer words can often be more powerful with young children. Simply explain that when we are nice, it makes others feel good. You could say, “Watch what happens when [Daddy or Mommy] tells the waiter he is very kind. Did you see him smile? That’s how you know you made a difference to that person.”

Give your child suggestions of a few ways to compliment someone authentically. The following are a handful of examples you could use:

I like how you drew those details in your picture.
You chose a great game for us to play.
You are a great friend.
You are really good at math.

Then you can teach your child how to receive a compliment politely by having him or her say “thank you” and smile. More often than not, that smile will be contagious. Follow us on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter to view more of our weekly challenges during the month of October!

Kristen Jansen
Director of Early Childhood Education

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