It is not kind to snatch things.
It is not kind to say hurtful things.
It is not kind to throw toys.
I do this because I'd rather say 'we don't do this because it is not kind' rather than just label something as 'naughty' but today, the prompt for Rosalilium's Blog Every Day in November challenge is about World Kindness Day, and it made me wonder whether I spend enough time teaching my children what IS kind, as opposed to what is not.
I think that random acts of kindness are lovely. Going that one extra step to be nice to another human being, but I don't see them as being sustainable. When it comes to teaching Lily and Ollie kindness, I want it to be natural, instant, heartfelt.
So, kindness starts at home. It starts with me. With you. I'm often surprised by how much Lily copies me. As she plays more independently and engages in more pretend play I find that she comes out with phrases and actions that I recognise in myself. We're often told about how children are like sponges, we watch what we say in front of them to avoid them dropping the F-word in front of a stranger (thank goodness that hasn't happened to me yet). At the same time we should make a real effort to be kind in everything we do.
It's not easy. But it isn't as hard as I thought it would be either. Afterall, I certainly don't want to be unkind!
I thought about what I consider to be kind and realised that although I may not praise it enough, Lily is already helpful, considerate of others and generous. If she needs reminding about her behaviour I tell her to think about 'the rules' - Listen to Mummy and Daddy, do as she is told and be kind.
- Read our bible - God wants us to clothe ourselves, amongst other things, with kindness and there is plenty of advice there on how to go about it.
- Read other stories about kind people and acts of kindness.
- Point out and praise acts of kindness by others.
- Place emphasis good manners.
- Explaining when something is not kind, and why.
So, if I think we're already doing OK, what else can I be working on?
I looked up 'World Kindness Day' and spent some time looking at the suggestions on the 'Random Acts of Kindness Foundation' website. These were my faves and my plan is to do them with Lily, see if she can think of any others and then help her do them
- Send a gratitude email to a coworker who deserves more recognition.
- Have a LinkedIn account? Write a recommendation for a coworker or connection.
- Compliment the next three people you talk to today.
What do you think? Any other suggestions?