Be kind, be kind, be kind.

World Kindness Day is November 13—but in Kindergarten we spread kindness constantly. So much so, we even sing about it:

Kindness Song
We share kindness everyday.
In our thoughts and words and play.
Helping hands and happy hearts.
We all try to do our part.
Yes, we share kindness.
Yes, we share kindness.
Yes, we share kindness.
In our school family.

We sing this song everyday in my Kinder classroom. Our classroom community is built on being safe. Safe actions and safe words. And, since my kids are human, there are times when they make mistakes.

When we make a mistake with our words, we talk through it. Everyone’s voice is heard, miscommunications are cleared up, mistakes are owned and each person involved is respected. Everyone walks away with their dignity in tact.

I’m always so proud of my Kinder kids and the amount they are willing to invest in problem solving.

What’s at the core of their willingness to be problem solvers? Love, through kindness.

How do we teach kindness?

  • Model kind behavior – We know kids watch and listen!
  • Be an emotion detective – Ask, How might someone else be feeling? What makes you think that? How might you feel?
  • Re-think teasing – Need to get a message across to your child? Teasing might not be the way to do it. Teasing might be intended to be funny, but the impact might be hurtful.
  • Re-think sarcasm – Younger kiddos can have a hard time understanding the nuances
  • Be honest about the effects of behaviors – How do your behaviors affect others? How do your child’s behaviors affect others? Kids can handle these honest conversations. They just need to be in a receptive mood and your message should be delivered without shaming.
  • Teach the value of helping others – Let your child see you helping and discuss how warm and fuzzy your heart feels when you help.
  • Explain the value of helping – It doesn’t matter if an act of kindness is small, medium, or large and everyone has the power to make a difference.
  • Read and discuss – There are so many books with themes of kindness, respect, bullying and disrespect. The perfect time to read and discuss these books is before you know of any disrespectful or bullyingbehaviors. Remember: Be proactive!
  • Notice kindness – Want to see more kindness? Recognize it when you see it.

We’re going to create our own Kindness Bingo cards. My kids will share the ways they show kindness, and I’ll create the cards that will go home with them. They’ll have the school week to demonstrate various acts of kindness at home. At the end of the week, they’ll return their card to school and we’ll discuss their acts of kindness.

Let’s notice and celebrate helping hands and happy hearts.
Not only on World Kindness Day, but everyday.