The acts of kindness challenge is on. We are challenging our community of children and students to complete a “ninja” style act of kindness. Everyone or anyone can do this! Here is how it works,
Take a piece of paper, write a special note to someone – your mom, dad, teacher, brother or sister or a friend. The note will tell them how awesome they are, thank them for being so cool or some other special message. Then hide it somewhere in their pocket, next to their toothbrush, in a drawer, anywhere they would be surprised to get it. Here is the deal though – Don’t get caught putting it there – ninja style. Then wait to see what happens.
An act of kindness does not have to be big or expensive. It just needs to make someone smile. Can you make someone smile today?
Leading by example, it’s something we try to do for our children in many different areas of life. In a way, by doing this we become a leader as we direct the way for our children. Something that your children may not be aware of is that they can be leaders as well, leaders of kindness, and this is something that you can not only support but encourage.
In this world we need individuals who will step up and guide others in the positive aspects of life, one of the most important areas being kindness, as kindness is the promoter of peace. So how can your children be kindness leaders? Through demonstrating kind acts to peers they are leading the way, they are showing their friends how easy being kind can be and what an impact it can have. By helping a classmate who has too many books in his hands to carry, to helping a smaller child find his way to a classroom, these are examples of kindness and can occur spontaneously as random acts of kindness as your children see opportunities.
As you display random acts of kindness in your life, your children notice. Encourage your children to do the same and let them know when they do something kind, their friends notice as well. To encourage kindness, let your children take the lead so they can truly be leaders. Let them come up with ideas while you support their ideas. By doing this, letting them come up with the ideas rather than telling, you are giving your children confidence as kindness leaders.
After your children come up with some ideas, come up with some ideas for yourself, ways that you may be able to show acts of kindness. Ultimately each of you can share these acts of kindness after they happen. And what a joy it will be to watch your children light up as they discover for themselves what it means to lead others in kindness, making the world a better place, one small act at a time.
Kindness, one of the most important things in life, is a critical attribute to instill in our children. Kindness is about creating a culture of peace, it is our greatest self-defense as we negotiate relationships, it is almost palpable and makes a huge difference in all of our lives. Children get their first glimpse of the world from their parents. Home is the place that forms the foundation and the place where parents have an opportunity to help shape their children into kind human beings.
When teaching children about kindness there are several different areas that you can focus on:
Give examples of kindness – Talk to your children about sharing with their classmates and friends, after all kindness is the key to friendships. Discuss ways they can treat siblings and parents with kindness by helping out around the house.
Notice and give appreciation for kindness – When you see your child exhibiting kindness acknowledge the behavior and give praise in whatever way your child appreciates. Whether a simple, “good job” or a big hug, let them know you notice their kindness.
Model kindness – As we know our children see everything even when we think they may not! As adults we can model kindness in many different ways. Hold the door open for someone. Treat the earth with kindness by recycling properly. Speak kindly to your spouse even during a disagreement.
Allow your child to be the recipient of your kindness – Sometimes we rush through our day and forget to show kindness to the people we love the most including our children. Helping them with homework, and giving them advice about how to handle life’s trials display kindness. You can also remind them from time to time as you do these things how these actions are examples of kindness.
In the end, when children understand the importance of kindness and exhibit kindness themselves they will see how good it feels to be kind to others. When you help someone in some way it brings joy to the “giver” as well, and whether your child is 4 years old or a teenager they get it. So do your best to teach your kids about kindness, and feel that joy in your heart as you witness your children’s growth in an area of life that means so much to so many.
Each month we will discuss a life skill with all of our students. This month the word is Kindness. This word will be defined in the following ways for our students.
Young students: Kindness means: “I use caring words and gentle actions!”
Older students: Kindness means: Showing care, concern, and consideration for others without expecting anything in return
Each age group has a worksheet that parents can use to continue the discussion at home with their children, and one for adults to allow them to think more deeply about the skill and how it applies to them. Would you like to receive the worksheet? Stop by our studio at 133 Gibralter Avenue in Annapolis, MD and tell us the age of your child. We will give you a worksheet and invite you to watch Mr. Joe discuss the word with the students in class. You can also follow our discussions here on this website.
If you would like to become a member of Balanced Life Skills, come TRY CLASSES FOR FREE. We are not your typical martial arts school, in fact we are an education center, working with our students on physical skills along with empowering families with compassion, awareness and respect – creating a culture of peace. We believe in every child and build their self – confidence. Balanced Life Skills takes part in community service and encourages each student to do the same.
Come in and talk to the parents that are here and watch the class for the age group you are interested in. Learn about the Balanced Life Skills Way.
There was a little girl in just the 3rd grade who was very active and loved to do things outside. She loved to play ball and ride her bike, climb trees and just have a lot of fun. Her classmates have started to make fun of her and especially of her short hair. This is Samantha and really she is very cute and loving. However, the taunts of her friends really is starting to bother her and she does not like to hear them.
This is a classroom that needs to learn that put-downs are not cool. They have not built a peaceful and kind culture yet. In a situation like this the teacher wants to work with the whole class. Building a culture of peace could begin with recognizing that we are the same and different at the same time taunts of her friends really is starting to bother her and she does not like to hear them.
You could start with a game of “I’m Looking For”. The simple version is to make a circle and have one person ask a question, “I’m looking for everyone with brown eyes.” Then everyone with brown eyes comes to the middle of the circle. They can go back out and a new ‘looking for’ question is asked. After everyone has a chance to ask questions about favorite colors, pets, color of hair and eyes, birthday months you can ask what were some of the things you had in common and discuss similarities and differences. To take it further, discuss all the ways everyone around the world are the same including our emotional needs.
Summarize with understanding that sometimes people put others down or make fun of them because they are different in some way. We will focus on the things that are the same and if we do we will be building a culture of kindness and peace in the classroom or at home.
Talking to our students and children about subjects that may seem difficult for them to understand is an important concept in starting early. I have found that the subjects that I was not sure was really getting through to the students would come back later, with them speaking of them with authority.
A couple of months ago we talked about ‘CHARITY’. Days, weeks and now months later our students are still finding ways to demonstrate that they understand the concept of charity. Here is a student and his younger brother who have taken charity seriously and brought in their shoes that they have outgrown for Souls 4 Soles.
Souls 4 Soles is an organization that collects shoes for those millions of individuals around the world that do not have them. Some of the shoes are slightly used, some are brand new and supplied by manufacturers from around the world. Balanced Life Skills started our relationship with them through the efforts of Brian Williams and the Think Kindness organization.
Along with Balanced Life Skills, several high schools from the area have supplied over $10,000.00 to help pay for the delivery of shoes around the world along with over 10,000 pairs of shoes. Teaching our children young to be concerned about their neighbors in the world, and to grow in their desire to give to those in need.