Being kind to others is not something that is born with us. Being kind is a skill and a quality that has to be taught. If you don’t teach your kids to be kind, the world might teach them not to be. This is why I’m sharing 7 ways young children can start practicing kindness with their family members.
I want my kids to have discernment and to be sensitive to others’ needs. To have their eyes open to notice things around them and to be able to tell when others need help. I want my kids to offer help even if they think everything is taken care of, because why not?
Helping others and being kind to them opens doors to so many things. It opens doors to new friendships, teamwork, healing, gratitude, and life-changing experiences. Being kind to others is rewarding even when people are not kind back. Because, deep down, you know you did the right thing. And you might even have sparked a change of attitude in someone else’s heart.
7 Ways Young Children Can Be Kind To Their Family
There are several small things young children can start doing around the house or to siblings and parents that will help them practice kindness. Don’t make this just another chore. Make a suggestion to them and maybe even do it yourself the first time around so you can lead by example.
I feel like leading by example (when appropriate) is always more effective than just telling kids what to do.
1. Offer other family members to clean up for them after they’re done eating
Young kids can start offering to take other family members’ plates to the sink once they’re done eating. You don’t have to make this an everyday chore, but it’s a way they can start practicing kindness inside the home sometimes.
2. Give someone a compliment
Whether it’s complimenting a sibling or a parent, compliments are always welcome. Everyone gets happy when acts of service get noticed, or even when someone says you look nice, or that you did a good job on this or that.
3. Help a sibling with their chore
Is there anything kinder than helping someone else with what’s their responsibility? And their responsibility only. This little act of service might just teach your child to think about what others need rather than thinking only about themselves.
4. Draw a sibling or a parent a special picture
From a young age, my mom always taught me the value of things made. Everything that is made, has thought, intention and love behind it. Having your child draw a picture and gift it to a loved one will show that person how much your child cares about them and that they took the time and energy to get it done. This is an incredible way to get your kids to be thoughtful and kind to other family members.
Smiles are contagious! Teach your kids to smile at others. As I said a little while ago in this post, leading by example is always the best way to get them to do something. So why not start with you?
I love to leave my husband a thoughtful note sometimes. He loves them and they are meaningful to him. I think it’s a fabulous idea to start teaching our kids that an act as simple as making kind little notes or cards to people, may have the power to change their day or even their whole life.
I made a couple of printables that you can snag here so you and your child can have a little DIY project to impact the day of someone or maybe everyone else in your house. They’re cute little pictures with kind notes that you can print and glue on a colored paper to make a charming card.
7. Read a book or tell a story
Growing up, one of the most cherished moments between myself and my dad was when he told me stories. I can still picture in my head my 5-year-old self and my dad lying in a hammock while he told me about the Three Little Pigs. Stories are powerful. They bring people closer, they are hard to forget.
Start practicing with your kids those 7 simple ways of being kind, and you might just see something spark in them! These activities are more powerful than you may think. And our kids are wonderfully smart little beings that keep surprising us every single day.
I can’t wait to hear what you do in your home to teach them about family kindness. Please, share with us below in the comment section how you spark this selfless feeling in them.
Isabel Freitas is a Christian wife and mom of two boys. She helps families create a thriving home & family life through amazing articles and weekly emails on Family Life Blog.