So yesterday, I was reminded of something profound! I went to pick my kids up from school, while walking to my daughter’s class, I spotted two girls at a far end of the playground. The first girl pushed the other down angrily and stormed off. I started to walk towards the girl on the ground when I spotted a teacher catch up with the pusher, taking her back to where the other child was.
Then something interesting happened, while they made their way to the girl on the ground, another girl suddenly came out of nowhere and helped the girl up, saying something I couldn’t hear from where I was. What I did see however, was the reassuring smile on her face as she helped the girl dust her uniform.
You probably know all three kids: a child who’s the pusher, one who gets pushed and one who always helps out. The major difference between these 3, might just be their understanding of kindness. How do we help kids understand the importance of kindness? Here are 5 easy steps.
- Model Kindness; Let them see you being kind to people on a daily basis.
- Let your kids know there are people who need help. The media can be your friend on this one. Watch movies and documentaries that show them the difference kindness makes to people.
- Create a Kindness Project with your kids. You could practice with “My daily 5 acts of kindness” Let them know it can be more, but never less and always reward their good deeds, even if the reward is a compliment.
- Let your kids “accidentally” overhear you talking to others about their great character traits, including their kindness. You could say “I’m so proud of Tife because of how he…”
- Encourage your kids to volunteer in your company’s CSR projects. This way they get to see the world of difference that acts of kindness make, and they get to be a part of it on a large scale.
So back to my story, the teacher handled the situation and on our way back home, I had an interesting chat with my kids on what they think we can do for an orphanage around us this weekend. My own little way of reminding them to be kind.
One of my favourite quotes about children was made by Adenike Ogunlesi, founder of Ruff ‘n’ Tumble, Africa’s leading Kids’ clothing brand; “Children are the most precious gifts of life, born full of dreams and inspiration…” I believe teaching them to heal the world through kindness is one way of ensuring they grow with the life and inspiration they are born with. Let’s keep changing the world, one act of kindness at a time.