We use the word “kind” in our house on a daily basis.
“Try kindness instead,” when reminding my son there might be a better way to ask his sister if he can have a turn with the toy instead of stomping his feet and yelling at her.
“That was very kind,” whenever a child holds open the door for a stranger.
“Thanks for choosing kindness,” when one sibling hugs the other one when they are upset.
My kids know that we value the kindness trait in this house.
… well… at least I think they do.
Recently, I read an article on Kidsburgh.com where parenting expert Dr. Debi Gilboa, M.D. (Dr. G) shared some statistics about how much we are actually getting through to our kids about how much we value kindness. (Spoiler alert: it might not be as much as you think)
And WOW did it get me thinking about my own approach with my children.
They are ages 8, 5 and 4 … all of them now old enough to be in a school setting with peers. They are encountering a variety of different social situations where “kindness” isn’t always just about sharing and being respectful … it’s about so much more.
It’s about being able to recognize situations where their kindness is needed, and choosing to ACTIVATE that kindness.
They may treat the person with whom they are playing with on the playground with respect, but are they recognizing someone who isn’t being included? They may help a friend clean up their crayons if they were dropped on the floor, but can they see in a friend’s face that they may be having a hard day?
And more importantly… if they do, are they DOING something about it?
I loved how Dr. G’s three steps to teaching our kids kindness created some self reflection for me, and a challenge to really evaluate not just how I’m teaching my kids kindness, but showing them how much we value it.
If you’re a parent who cares about how your kids are activating their kindness, you might be interested in reading her words, too.
Read the article HERE… Spread your kindness THERE… and let’s help our kids activate their kindness EVERYWHERE.
Kidsburgh is the go-to online resource focusing on the people and ideas making Pittsburgh a better place to raise kids. Follow along for feature stories as well as guides for things to do in Pittsburgh on their website, Facebook and Instagram.