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Encouraging Kindness

tips for encouraging kindness

“Wherever there is a human in need, there is an opportunity for kindness and to make a difference,” said Kevin Heath, the CEO for More4kids.It is important to encourage our children to be kind. It may help build character, prevent bullying, and influence children to be nice to others.

Being a role model, exhibiting how to be kind, is a great way to teach kindness. There are also many other ways to encourage kindness:

Teach teamwork: Whether your children have a play date or are just playing together as siblings, when it comes to cleaning up afterwards, have them work together. Children can learn the value of teamwork just by helping each other.

Teach sharing: Learning to play in pairs is a great way to start teaching children how to share. During play activities that require two or more children, demonstrate how they can share toys as they play with each other. Sharing teaches children about giving.

Give thanks: Teach children how to compliment the people they come in contact with. A great way to do this is by complimenting or praising a friend or relative. Children will start to pick up on how being praised or complimented can make another person feel good.

Give to charity/community service: Encourage your family to help out in the community by cleaning the local park, visiting a nursing home, or fundraising for a good cause. By spending time together performing an act of kindness, children will realize they are benefiting the community and helping others who need assistance.

An example of kindness

26 Acts of Kindness is an initiative that was started by Ann Curry in December following the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings. She challenged people to perform 26 acts of kindness, one for each victim in their honor. Now, in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings, Ann has asked for people to participate in 26 more acts, this time in honor of victims of the bombings at the 26th mile of the Boston Marathon.

These acts of kindness can be used as learning tools for children and may even encourage you and your family to spread the love and generosity.

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St. Germaine’s 4th grade class in Oak Lawn, Illinois sent well wishes to the Boston victims.

 

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A donation of twenty six hearts to the American Heart Associate, one in honor of each of the Sandy Hook victims.

 

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Jaide, who is three years old, ran her first 5k with her mom to honor Boston.

If you choose to participate in the 26 Acts of Kindness, we invite you to post your acts of kindness to the 26 Acts of Kindness Facebook page.

Encouraging kindness is like a never ending cycle, when you do something good for someone; someday someone may do something nice for you. Being kind can make brighten someone’s day and that is the best reward of all. Do you have suggestion on how to encourage kindness in children?

Dressing for the Day

tips on how to dress
 

Many toddlers enjoy mimicking adult like activities such a cooking and cleaning, yet there is another activity that may inspire logic and decision making. That activity is learning how to dress themselves. Here are some tips inspired by Thriving Family Magazine on how to teach children how to dress:

1. Ask your child to observe the weather outside.

      • Does it look hot or cold?
      • Tell them what the temperature is and associate the temperature with a season. For example: “Although it is sunny out, the weather channel only says it is 38 degrees outside, that feels like winter weather. Burrrrr, I’m shivering.”

2. Talk about what the plans for the day are.

      •  Are you going grocery shopping with your child, going to the playground, or attending a wedding? This will help teach them the difference between casual and formal.

3. Separate clothing into categories.

      • Put short sleeve shirts in one draw and long sleeve shirts in another.

4. When children make what may be considered a good selection for a clothing choice, cheer them on. Toddlers love positive attention!

5. Based on the good dress decisions of the week, as a reward for dressing well, on a day that you and your child are spending in the house, give them the option to dress in their favorite outfit such as their superhero pajamas.

What tips do you have for teaching your child how to dress themselves?

Encouraging Healthy Eating Habits

Eating cake, cookies, burgers, pizza, and other delicious foods may be a delectable meal for some, but it can also be an unhealthy lifestyle to pursue all the time. Teaching and encouraging healthy eating habits to your children may help with their development.  There is no guarantee that your children will not become picky eaters, but suggesting the importance of being healthy may open their mind to at least trying new foods.

We found this article on PBS that explains ways to encourage healthy eating habits for your little ones. Here are some of the highlights:

Get them involved by bringing them along. Taking children to the grocery store can an adventure or a struggle, but bringing them, will allow an opportunity for your children to choose the food you purchase. Let them pick out the fruits, vegetables, cheeses, bread and other food you are planning on buying. Try to give them a simple description of what the particular food they have picked tastes like. A great way to stay away from unhealthy food is to try to avoid going down the aisles that supply it. If a child cannot see their favorite unhealthy food in front of them, they may not even think about it or want it.

Go to the source. Speaking of describing how a food tastes to children, it is equally important to increase your children’s food knowledge. Sometimes, instead of going to the grocery store travel to your local farmer’s market. Your children can meet the people that actually grow and pick the fresh fruits and veggies. Even planning a day to go to a dairy farm will teach them where dairy products come from. Besides, showing your children where healthy foods come from- stocking up on plenty of nutritious snacks in your home is a smart idea too!

Have healthy snacks readily available. Having the fridge and cabinets filled with sliced apples, cut up carrots, whole grain crackers, and water bottles is never a bad idea. These are snacks that children can access without your help. In addition, they are snacks that can travel with them in the car. Portable snacks help keep children busy! Besides feeding children healthy snacks, being a role model and eating healthy too can benefit both you and your children.

It takes dedication to eat healthy but if a family tries to do it together, it becomes a group effort. Kids look up to their parents and want to imitate what the adults are doing. If children see their parents eating the same food as them, they may be influenced to enjoy these nutritious and delicious foods instead of complaining.

Overall, implementing health conscious food choices into the family’s meals and snacks is a fantastic way for everyone to receive their daily nutritional requirements. What do you do to try to get your children to eat healthy?