Kindness. It can start anywhere. A word. A gesture. A smile. Being kind is intentional. It involves a decision…. a good decision. And who benefits? Well, pretty much everyone. Anywhere.

In school we try to promote kindness by discussing and modeling kindness. Ms. Lauro has been promoting kindness in Physical Education with her “Fill the Bucket” chart for each class. Classroom teachers use the Open Circle curriculum to foster caring and respectful students. Travell is fortunate to be a school which is filled with a caring and compassionate staff. We are lucky to work in a positive environment where people are considerate and concerned for one another.

When we show our children what it looks like and sounds like to be kind, there is a far greater chance they will repeat those modeled behaviors. It is so important to remember that children watch adults all the time and listen to everything they say and do. Children learn their values by watching the adults they respect. They need to hear that you value kindness and see you demonstrate those values.

At the end of the day, share your acts of kindness with your child and have them share with you one way they were kind that day. The conversation with you will help them become more self-reflective of their actions and reinforce their kind deeds. The goal is to help children become more aware of doing acts of kindness and as a result help to create a more peaceful world.

Caring for others and expressing gratitude will help them to develop into more generous, helpful, compassionate and forgiving people. In order to learn to be kind they need to practice being kind. They could help a friend with homework, clear the dinner table, let someone else go first, or help around the house.

If you need some picture books to help get the conversation started, here are a few of my recommendations.

Have You Filled a Bucket Today? By Carol McCloud

Each Kindness by Jaqueline Woodson

Ordinary Mary’s Extraordinary Deed, by Emily Pearson

The Invisible Boy by Trudy Ludwig

Happy Reading!

Margy Leininger