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Both as adults and children, the lesson of kindness can be a difficult one to master, albeit an important one. Treating others with kindness is right up there, with regards to importance, with practicing/remembering the importance of honesty and appreciating yourself. Although the nurturing environment provided by private schools is a step in the right direction (one that you may be able to take advantage of for free), as parents it is our responsibility to guide our children through the inevitable bumps of childhood–not only by teaching them to react with kindness, but by acting kindly towards ourselves and others.
Whether it’s teaching tolerance toward a bully or showing generosity toward those less fortunate, as faithful parents, we must teach our children that each act of kindness serves as a living reflection of God’s love to others. (Paul 2:4)
Fortunately, there are simple play activities that you can act out with your child to teach them to respond to difficult situations with love and forgiveness, especially when they have been hurt or offended.
For Your Pre-K Child
Remember, that as a part of the fruit of holy spirit, kindness must also be accompanied by goodness. (Galatians 5:22-23) This exercise is a wonderful way to help your child “clothe” him or herself in kindness by choosing to be kind to others.
First, tell your children that the family is throwing a party, and that they get to choose their outfits for the festivities. Give them different dress-up options for fun but be sure to lay out enough hats for each child attending the party. As the children ‘get ready,’ encourage them to choose a special hat in order to get a special job at the party.
After everyone is ready, set the table with snacks and have your child ask everyone to join you both. Once they are all seated, ask each child wearing a hat to do something kind– like serve a snack to another child before serving themselves or pass out napkins to everyone.
Afterward, explain to your children that we must “put on” kindness every morning. Show them that kindness is something we choose by reminding them that they chose to put on a special hat for the party and each child wearing a hat acted kindly toward everyone–even the children not wearing hats. Use this moment as an opportunity to talk about the ways each person showed kindness at the party and how we can choose kindness in our daily lives.
For Your Elementary School Child
Supplies: For this activity, you’ll need a coin, white paper and several crayons in bright colors, as well as one black crayon.
Using the paper and the black crayon, draw an outline of a person on the paper. Together with your child, color the outline in using the bright colors. As you work together, use this moment to explain how God designed us to show His love and kindness to those around us. Remind your child that our actions reflect His goodness to others.
Next, give your child the black crayon and have him or her add black splotches over the bright colors. As he or she does this, explain to your child that when we don’t treat others with kindness, our lives stop reflecting the love and goodness of God. As your child finishes, discuss different situations in which people may act unkind toward others.
Use the coin to lightly scratch away the black patches. As you do this, explain to your child that when we show kindness to others, the kindness of God begins to shine through again. Teach them that kindness not only blesses others through our actions, but also helps people see the ultimate Creator of that kindness.
Although instilling kindness and goodness is not a one time lesson or exercise, these activities can help you start an early dialogue with your children about practicing kindness and compassion.
By teaching them to treat others with kindness, you are also helping them reflect the image of God in their actions. Many of our programs highlight compassion, empathy, and kindness through familial and community engagement. For more on how to apply and receive financial aid for private school, we encourage you to contact Corner Stone Christian Academy & Tykes at (702) 939-5050.