KINDNESS SUPERHEROES: Inspiring children to be everyday superheroes
What is kindness?
By definition, to be kind, is having or showing a friendly, generous and considerate nature. An act of kindness can be small, holding a door open for someone behind you, or it can be large, taking time out of your day to help your friend clean their house. When it comes to acts of kindness, the size of the gesture doesn't have to be big or bold to have positive effects on both parties.
Think back to a time when someone close to you showed you a kind gesture, such as, asked how you were, or helped you do a task around your house. How did it make you feel? Now think back to the last time you complimented someone, checked to see how they're doing or try your best to help them. How did you feel after it?
Studies have shown that showing kindness to other people not only has positive outcomes for the person receiving the gesture but it can also give the person showing the kindness a greater sense of belonging and in turn increase their self-esteem.
The best way to teach kindness is to model it. As Amelia Earhart (the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean) once said:
'A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees.'
Kindness has the power to work as a ripple effect. If you show kindness to your child, they in turn will in turn be intrinsically motivated to show kindness to others. For example, if your child trips over and hurts themselves. Your reaction is to go over to them, help them up and ask if they're okay and if there's anything you can do to help. This makes your child feel safe and seen in a moment where they may be hurt, scared or angry. The next time your child sees somebody fall, they will go over to them and ask if they're okay because they know that this method works in helping them to feel safe in a scary moment.
Children show kindness to other children and even toys all the time without intentionally trying. They look after their sick teddies and animals, they help their friends tidy up a box of toys that they spilled on the floor or they give you a hug when you're feeling sad. Naming the gesture after you have seen it can be a good way to start the conversation with your child and show them how much they have helped the other person. 'That was really kind of you to help Sarah tidy up those pegs, you both got it done so fast and had more time to play'. You can also make a game out of this at the end of the day with our Yellow Door Kindness Hearts.
Let's play a kindness game
Take it in turns to pick up one heart and say something that made them smile or feel happy that day.
Why is it important to teach children kindness?
Kindness is something that anyone can give without losing anything themselves. How amazing is it that children are so incredibly lucky to have the most special superpower. The power to be kind to themselves and to others around them. One of the most important things to remember is that to show kindness you must remember to practice self kindness too. A great way to explain to children the effects kindness has on them is to get in front of a mirror (Tickit Sound Recorder), think of some kind words or phrases you would like to say and begin saying them to the mirror.
For example, you can say:'I am proud of myself for tidying up my toys'.
'You cheered me up in the car when you told me the joke you learned in school'.
And then you can ask:'How did you feel when I told you that you were funny?'.
By doing this in front of the mirror you can see how someone's face looks when they're happy, excited, proud or even sad if someone says something to us that we don't like. You can use this time to begin thinking of ways that you can spread that happiness and kindness that you feel to other people.
Go be a Superhero and spread your power of kindness.
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What is kindness? By definition, to be kind, is having or showing a friendly, generous and considerate nature. An act of kindness can be small, holding a door open for someone behind you, or it can be large, taking time...