By Gregg Murset
According to a study by Harvard University, 80 percent of kids say their parents care more about their achievements and happiness than about whether they are being kind. There are so many reasons we fail our children if we do not instill in them a sense that other people are deserving of our compassion. One of them, ironically, is purely selfish: other studies have found that kindness can make people happier and healthier.
But raising a kind child goes beyond simply teaching right from wrong and rewarding good behaviors. These activities in honor of World Kindness Day will help children strengthen kindness as a character trait, every day of their lives. Print it out and stick it to the refrigerator, and encourage your kids to refer to on their own.
1. Sibling Sensation. Give your parents a break and tell them that you will watch your younger brothers or sisters, just because you love them.
2. Notables. Slide a note into your mom or dad's coat pocket, purse, wallet, or briefcase, telling him or her how much you care.
3. Hold That Door. Make sure to get to a door first and hold it open for as many people as you can.
4. Let Me Carry That. Offer to carry the groceries or other store items for someone you don’t know, especially someone elderly or disabled.
5. Text Nice Thoughts. Kids spend an estimated 100 hours a week on mobile devices; spend a few of those minutes texting positive messages to your family and friends.
6. This One’s On Me. Without their knowing, complete a household chore for your brother or sister.
7. Teaching Moment. Make and sign a card for one of your teachers to that show how you appreciate what she does to help you.
8. Pay For It. Use your own allowance money to pay for a drink, lunch, or breakfast for someone around you who looks like he or she is having a bad day. You could even surprise someone at the movies with a bucket of popcorn.
9. Stick It To Them. Buy some special stickers and hand them out to people you see doing kind things throughout the day, just to let them know their deeds did not go unnoticed.
Additional activities that help children build positive character traits can be found in the Zingity app.
Photograph by Pink Sherbet Photography, via Flickr