Thank you to those of you who responded with you definitions, I loved them! Based on your responses and my own ideas of what kindness is, I came up with this list of words that exemplify what kindness is.
- Forbearance (self control and tolerance)
I also came up with a list of concrete examples of actions kids can relate to and use on a daily basis.
- Provide relief or help others when they need it. For example, helping a friend tie their shoe or helping them with a math problem
- Give hugs
- Give compliments
- Wait your turn
- Listen without interrupting
- Try to understand someone else’s point of view. For example, perhaps you’re trying to decide on which game to play, and your friend is upset because you’ve gotten to choose the last few times. Think how you would feel if you were them, and act based on how you think they might feel (maybe let them choose this time to be fair).
- When in a disagreement, wait to respond if you know you’ll lose your temper. Take a deep breath, walk away for a little while, or talk to a trusted adult.
- Speaking to others as you would like to be spoken to. Think, “Would I like it if someone said this to me?”
- Using the “Golden Rule” in general
- Show appreciation by saying “thank you” to others. For example you can say thank you to your parents for making you meals and helping with homework, or to your friends for their kindness towards you.
- When someone else is sad you can show them sympathy by asking if you can help them, giving them a hug, or telling them you care about them.
- Remind yourself that you can disagree with someone and still care about them.
Most importantly, BE RIGHT SIZED. This was my number one classroom rule. It means that in order to be kind we must always remember that we are not better or worse than the person sitting next to us. Nothing about us makes us inherently better or worse than anybody else. Our abilities, ethnicity, religion, race, gender, skin color, socio-economic status, learned skills, possessions, grades, ideas, or geographic location etc…do no make us better or worse than anybody else. If we remember to be just the right size, not bigger (better) or smaller (less important) we can do a lot of good and spread a lot of kindness.
Next up, I’ll be talking about books that you can read with your child to teach them about kindness. Get excited, I know I am!
The joy of learning. Together.