Start Talking ... Know! To Practice Kindness
Know! To Practice Kindness
“When we feel love and kindness toward others, it not only makes others feel loved and cared for, but it helps us also to develop inner happiness and peace.” —The 14th Dalai Lama
February 14-20, 2016 is Worldwide Random Acts of Kindness Week – recognizing the incredible impact of human kindness on one another.
When kindness is a priority in the lives of young people, they are likely to have an increased overall sense of well-being, purpose and happiness.
We all want our children to be happy, right? So as parents and teachers, we find ourselves going out of our way, doing many small acts of kindness every day, solely for their benefit. But what we quickly learn is that these acts of kindness actually benefit us as well, even if unintended. Why? Because we care deeply about our children and students, and it feels good to do good for them.
The same holds true for our children. When they take the opportunity to do something good for someone other than themselves, they feel happy because they made someone else feel happy.
Such good deeds and the spreading of kindness need not be complicated. Try sharing these simple, yet effective ideas with your teens:
• Hold the door, give up your seat or let someone go in front of you
• Leave change in the vending machine
• Help out around the house without being asked to do so
• Send someone a text of ‘thanks’
• Hand out a compliment
• Say good morning to your bus driver or teacher
• Help a younger sibling with homework
• Pick up litter around school
• Mow someone’s lawn or shovel their drive
• Stand up for someone being bullied
• Donate your old sports equipment
• Wash the family car
• Visit an elderly neighbor
• Hug your parents, call your grandparents
Of course if you’re wanting to instill the importance of kindness in youth, it is best taught by example.
In addition to positive role modeling, you can help youth put kindness into practice through an easy and enlightening activity. Whether at home or in the classroom, have each child (as well as yourself) record ONE act of kindness per day that they engaged in, during a chosen month. At the end of each week, take time to share and learn from each other’s good deeds. This kind of sharing is also beneficial because it encourages reflection and helps bring meaning to their actions.
During Worldwide Random Acts of Kindness Week, you are encouraged to focus on kindness, keeping in mind that goodness breeds further goodness, and a single act can influence dozens more.