Today is World Kindness Day, a day to celebrate the goodness in all of us by encouraging people to be kind to each other. Here at Liberty Tutoring, we pride ourselves in supporting parents to realize a bright future for their children, because a bright future is a happy future. So where does kindness fit into the equation? Research has shown there is a positive feedback loop between kindness and happiness, so that one encourages the other. Happy people act with kindness, and being kind makes people happy. As humans, we are social beings – our happiness is linked to the good relations we have with others. But we can’t simply expect kids to be kind. We have to teach it! Teaching empathy and kindness is key for children to grow up as good adults, and can be a tool in overcoming some of the obstacles they face in reaching success. There are lots of free resources available online to help teach kids about important Social Emotional Learning (SEL) skills like caring, compassion, self-care, helpfulness, responsibility, respect, and more. Random Acts of Kindness has games, books and activities that you can explore with your kids at home, and even lesson plans and other classroom tools for teachers in the classroom. Start a conversation with your child’s teacher about creating a culture of kindness at home and at school – the school your children attend may even have a “Kind Kids” club, or an  “Acts of Random Kindness” club, where kindness inspires kindness.

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Practice empathy and gratitude at the dinner table by having each family member share one good thing and one bad thing that happened in their day. Actively listening to one another helps us feel happy just to be with each other.
  • Practice generosity and selflessness by choosing a charity to start a piggy bank fund. Contribute any amount, including leftover lunch money, a portion of birthday money or earned money from a part time or summer job. When the piggy bank is full take a family trip to the charity to give the donation.
  • Practice helpfulness with your neighbours. Wheel out your neighbour’s garbage and recycling bin while your kids wheel out your own. Work together to finish shovelling the driveway in half the usual amount of time, and use the free time to help a neighbour shovel theirs.
  • Practice patience by letting someone go through the line at the grocery store ahead of you. Pay it forward by leaving a quarter in the shopping cart for a stranger.
  • Tap into your kids passions and let that guide some of your kind actions. If they love animals, volunteer to take dogs out for a walk at the local shelter. If they aspire to join the police or fire services, bring homemade treats to the local station to say thank you. If they love arts and crafts, make homemade cards for friends and family to tell them what makes them important to you.

As with any other subject kids are learning, the ideal outcome is possible when students take on an active role in their own education. World Kindness Day can be day #1 in a year long family project to practice kindness with each other, talking about and exemplifying empathy, modesty, patience, generosity, respect, loyalty, trustworthiness, and gratitude, every day of the year.

Share your family’s acts of kindness on our Facebook page!