The ability to empathize and show kindness to others forms the foundation for recognizing injustice and acting to create a more equitable world.
All children, even those who come to the world with a natural inclination towards empathy and caring, can exercise and grow their “kindness muscles.” One of our most important jobs as parents and teachers is to nurture our childrens’ propensity for kindness.
A game called Do A Kind Thing can add to your toolbox for generating kind acts, along with modeling kindness and talking about it repeatedly over time.
Explain that you play by looking for a chance to doing something nice or helpful for another person. Ask your child to think of ways to be kind. If he or she can’t come up with anything, offer some suggestions:
Asking a child to play with you.
Sharing a toy.
Picking up something someone has dropped and giving it to them.
Telling someone you like what they’re building or making.
Tell your child that you will also look for opportunities to be kind.
Once you arrive at school, the playground, or another place, say, “Ok, the Do A Kind Thing game starts now!”
When your child does something kind, say, “You’re good at this game! Let’s keep playing.”
Let him or her know when you have helped someone by opening a door for them, giving a compliment, offering directions to someone who looks lost, or otherwise showing kindness.
After, talk about how good it feels to help other people.