It’s summer time, and while the kids are jumping all over the place happily thinking of school-free days, parents are thinking about what to do.
There are the usual summer camps and vacations, but why not consider adding something to your summer activities? Take advantage of the fun and teach kindness to kids. Isn’t that an idea worth considering?
Here are some things you can do to teach kindness to kids.
Set an example.
[tweetthis url=”https://www.thedailymind.com/how-to/summer-parenting-project-how-to-teach-kindness-to-kids/”]“Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.” – Lao Tzu[/tweetthis]
Children learn best by example, and they are more perceptive than we adults may sometimes think. What they see from our behavior, they imbibe and carry on to adulthood. This summer, pay more attention to how you treat people around you – from family members to friends to the grocery cashier to strangers. And, I think it goes without saying that this should be practiced not only this summer but every day.
Explain the concept of kindness.
While children learn by observing their parents, it is also important for them to understand the underlying concept. You can do this by talking to them about the idea of kindness.
What is kindness? What does it mean? Why is it important?
If you need some help, you can read some research articles that can give you an idea on how to explain kindness to kids. Here is another useful read.
Plan activities to apply kindness.
Here are some things you can do to teach kindness to kids and have fun while at it.
Tip: make sure you turn these activities into learning moments.
- Go to the playground, and ask your kids to remember to practice kindness. You can then talk about their behavior after. Praise them for the good that they did, and make suggestions – in a positive way – what they could do better. Be as specific as possible.
- Go to a public place like the zoo, beach, or park and pick up trash you see. This is a way of teaching the kids respect for the environment and people as well.
- Drive the point home by going to a recycling center! Make a family trip and have some treats after.
- Give food to people who live in the streets. Just make sure it’s a safe area.
- Alternatively, if you have elderly neighbors who live alone, encourage your kids to talk to them. They can start by saying hi, and visiting (with you). Occasionally bring flowers and food as gifts – always with the children involved.
- Ask your kids to pick out toys and clothes that they don’t use. Take them to a place that accepts donations.
- If you’re visiting a friend who is sick or needs help in any way, involve your kids if appropriate. If you’re baking a cake or a casserole to take with you, ask the kids to help.
What activities are you planning for the summer? Have you thought about imparting an attitude of kindness to your children? What other ideas would you add to the list above?