Teaching Kindness At Home During the Coronavirus Pandemic
The power of kindness is more important than ever right now. As we face a global pandemic and a time of fear and anxiety, our lives literally depend on the kindness and heroic efforts of strangers. This is a time to remember the power of kindness, and as we quarantine at home with our families, we can use this unique moment of our lives to prioritize teaching kindness to our children.
Teaching kindness should be fun and enjoyable for all. It should not feel like a stressful task with all that we are already trying to balance as parents. Here are five simple ways to teach kindness at home during this time of coronavirus:
Decorate Your Home in Gratitude
Talking with your children about essential workers and the heroic acts that they are performing during this time of coronavirus is very important. Helping them to understand the bravery of medical professionals and essential workers of all kinds can help them understand how far acts of kindness can go.
Have them brainstorm who they might know who is an essential worker to personalize it, and come up with a list together of all of the kinds of jobs that are essential right now. Then have them decorate your home with messages of gratitude. They can do this with chalk drawings and messages on your driveway, street, or sidewalk. They can also make signs of gratitude to hang in your windows and on the outside of your home.
Bring Kindness Elves Into Your Home
With close quarters and not much chance for escape from each other during quarantine, it’s especially important that families practice kindness towards each other. Encourage your children to be "kindness elves."
At the start of each week, you can come up with lists of ways that they can surprise the other family members with kindness. Depending on the age of the children, kindness elf task options can range from making the beds to preparing breakfast to making art for each other to surprising each other with spontaneous hugs.
Perform Random Acts of Kindness for Others
There are limited options for how we can interact with others these days, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t options for spreading kindness.
Maybe you can sneak on to the front steps of a neighbor’s home and leave a roll of toilet paper or a homemade mask or freshly baked cookies with a note of cheer. You might consider having the kids make videos talking about how much they love their grandparents and then emailing or texting that video to them. You could send a gift card for Grubhub or another delivery service over to a family that would appreciate it and ask them to pay it forward if possible. With creativity, there are so many ways to keep up random acts of kindness.
Check out more random acts of kindness ideas here.
No matter how often we come up with creative activities to teach our children kindness, there will never be a better teacher than the behavior that you model yourself. With your family’s world being smaller than ever as you stay at home, your actions and decisions will be absorbed and focused on more than ever by your kids.
This doesn’t mean you can’t have bad days or be open about emotions like anger and frustration. It just means that you remember the importance of kindness in your actions right now, and that you also don’t forget that kindness includes being kind to yourself. The more you talk through your decisions to be kind to yourself and others out loud, the more your children will understand the importance of kindness in your choices.
Watch Videos or Read Books Together That Highlight Kindness
There are so many books for readers of all levels that highlight the importance of kindness. There are also many videos and websites that convey this as well. Here are seven books that teach kindness and good manners.
The Kindness Journey is an awesome site which shares the journey of a 12 year old and his mom focusing on kindness through their travels. You can also print kindness cards, or you can choose a kindness quote each day as a way to inspire your family to be their best selves.
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