Teaching Kids About Kindness: Small Gestures Put Smiles on People’s Faces

Teaching Kids About Kindness: Small Gestures Put Smiles on People’s Faces

By Kimberly Blaker

Amid our busy lives, it is easy to lose sight of the little things we can do to make the world a gentler, kinder place for others. As a result, our kids miss out on golden opportunities to emulate such kindness and its rewards. November 13th, 2018, is World Kindness Day. So why not set a goal with your kids and see how many acts of kindness your family can rack up in a single day?

Here are some ideas to get your kids started:

Call your grandparents or great-grandparents: This is a big one because often, grandparents are the ones to initiate calls. So, make your grandparents’ day by making the call.

Visit an elderly neighbor: Many older people are shut in because they can no longer drive. Even those who do drive often do not get the social interaction they need. There is likely someone in your neighborhood who could use some company.

Offer a compliment: It could not get any easier than this, but do not offer a praise you don’t mean because it will come off as disingenuous. Think about what you like about what the person is wearing, their personality, or something they have done.

Make a donation: This could be a small monetary donation to a good cause, or you could donate items you no longer need to a homeless shelter, animal rescue, or Toys for Tots collection.

Help someone with their homework: Do you know classmates who struggle with a particular subject? Offer to help them study for a test or to understand a concept for a homework assignment.

Take an extra lunch to school for someone who forgets theirs: When you get to school, ask your teacher to help you find a student who needs it.

Stand up for someone: Do you know a student who is bullied or always left out? Look for an opportunity to tell those who are being judgmental that they should be a little nicer or that they are being unfair.

Offer someone your support: Do you know someone who is going through a hard time, such as a serious illness, or whose parents are going through a divorce? Lend them your shoulder, and offer to listen.

Make friends with someone who seems left out: Is there a classmate who is always standing alone on the playground or who sits alone at lunch? Offer to join that person.

Offer to help out a mom: Do you know someone with young children? Offer to spend a couple of hours watching and entertaining them while the mom catches up on chores.

Bake cookies for your teacher or boss: Show your appreciation by baking their favorite cookies or some brownies.

Hold the door for someone: This is another super easy gesture that is sure to be appreciated by the elderly and disabled, or really anyone.

Write an apology to someone you have hurt: We have all said and done things, on occasion, that hurt someone’s feelings. Take ownership of it, and write a heartfelt apology.

Help someone carry something: When you see someone trying to juggle multiple things or carry a heavy object, offer your assistance.

Post something nice on the social media page of someone who needs a friend: Do you have a social media friend who no one ever pays attention to? Make that person’s day with a positive comment on their page.

Take a neighbor’s dog for a walk: Is there a dog in your neighborhood that never gets to go for walks? Just make sure you find out the dog’s energy level to make sure you are able to handle it or to ensure you do not over exercise the dog.

Do a chore for your brother or sister: What a great way to get back in your brother’s, or sister’s, good graces. Who Knows? Maybe sometime they will return the favor.

Buy a friend a candy bar: This is a simple way to show your friend you are thinking of them.

Volunteer for a good cause: There are many opportunities right in your community. You could volunteer at a soup kitchen, by picking up trash at a park, or helping with a canned food drive.Ideas for

Volunteering with Your Kids in the Chico Area:
• Assisted Living Facilities
• From the Ground Up
• Butte Creek Environmental Agency
• Boys & Girls Clubs of the North Valley
• Jesus Center
• The Salvation Army
• Public Libraries
• Butte Humane Society
• Wags & Whiskers
• Chico Cat Coalition
• Esplanade House
• Arc of Butte County
• Operation Homefront
• Northern Valley Catholic Social Services
• Habitat for Humanity
• American Cancer Society
• Special Olympics
• Chico Parks and Greenways PALS Volunteer Program
• volunteermatch.com

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