The older your child, the bigger part he or she can play in random acts of kindness for kids. For little kids, especially, you might model raking the leaves more than expect your children to do the heavy lifting. (I bet they’ll have lots of fun jumping in piles and bagging them up, though!)
Modeling gratitude without making the work obligatory helps keep the spirit of it all authentic. And of course, opportunities to volunteer increase with your child’s age.
The focus here is togetherness; acts of kindness for kids are truly ways to have quality time together. Take time to be present with your children.
Acts of kindness for kids have no upper age limit. Let your children see you joyfully engaging alongside them.
Brainstorm random acts of kindness for kids, with your kids.
Once you’ve gone through the list and made acts of kindness for kids part of your routine, challenge your children to continue with their own ideas.
Let them continue to observe you treating others well without expecting anything in return. After all, that’s one of the gifts that gratitude fosters, isn’t it?
Bonus: a craft to keep acts of kindness for kids top of mind in your home
A gratitude garland is an inexpensive and fun craft that helps kids be mindful of others every day. It’s also a lovely option for those of us whose crafts aren’t, say, Pinterest-worthy. (I’m raising my hand here. Heck, I can barely pack a lunchbox without a map.)
Most of what you need are common household items:
- Construction paper
- Safety scissors
- Kid-safe cookie cutters or something else to trace
- Fun pens (these were my very favorite kind as a kid) or crayons
- Thick twine or pretty yarn
- Colourful paperclips
You and your kids can trace and cut out whatever shape (or shapes) you plan to use. Each day, write one thing for which you’re thankful on one of the shapes. Cut a small hole in your shape. Feed your twine or yarn through it, and make sure you cut a long enough length of yarn to last awhile. Use a paperclip to secure your shape to the yarn. Hang the yarn somewhere visible in your home, and each day, recount your blessings together as you add a new one. We find that hanging it over the door frame in the kitchen works well.
One of the great things about acts of kindness for kids is that the more they see kindness in action throughout the year, the easier it is for them to perpetuate as they grow up.
It takes practice sometimes. For all of us. But kindness itself can be one of the best gifts of all, and it never needs to be wrapped with a bow.
Originally published here.
Sarah R. Moore is an internationally published writer and the founder of Dandelion Seeds Positive Parenting. You can follow her on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram. She’s currently worldschooling her family. Her glass is half full.