I had a deep and to the point conversation with my almost four year old granddaughter this week. She was talking about a friend who she had loved dearly and talked about all the time, but I noticed over the past several months she hasn’t said much about her. I found out why.
“Marmie, I used to love playing with ______, but now I don’t. She is so mean to me! Why does she have to be so mean?”
“Well, she shouldn’t treat you like that. It doesn’t make you feel very good, does it? Can you ask her to stop?”
My granddaughter looked at my with a stern expression and a wagging finger and said, “I have told her, but I will tell her again. I will say, be kind!” Well said, Little One, but I reminded her to say it nicely and with a smile.
I know this doesn’t directly relate to homeschooling as far as subjects, but it has everything to do with life. Which is really the most important part of educating our children. Quite a few people can teach the subject content, but we as parents (and grandparents) are the best for instructing them in character building.
Can you teach children to be kind? Yes, I think you can provide instruction and opportunity to show your children that kindness counts.
Model kindness. I can’t expect that from my children if I don’t do it myself. It might seem cheesy and self-promoting, but as you do something kind you can say, “I am being kind by _fill-in-the-blank__ because I love you and I want the best for you.” Showing kindness to strangers while going about your routine and sharing what you did with your children helps them to see you are preferring others over yourself.
Make a phone call, send a card to someone, create a “thinking of you” video. I love it when someone calls to say hello with no agenda. Who could your children reach out to that would brighten their day?
Serve someone. Kindness begins at home. Look for teachable moments for your children how to be kind to one another (and you). Kindness is being others focused- setting the table, picking up toys, saying please and thank you are just some of the ways we can teach our children to be kind. You can make a kindness chart, have a kindness competition, make Kind Coupons to be given to family members. Some examples could be: One hour of borrowing a toy; helping build a Lego model; doing a craft, etc.
Serve others that are not your family. Food pantries are always in need of staples. How about collecting some a little each week and have your daughter/son put them in a box? Once you it is filled, take the kids and drop it off at a local food pantry. You can contact your pastor or check with your neighbors to see if there is someone who needs help (yard work, grocery shopping, etc.). What about paying for the person’s coffee behind you in the drive-through window? Be creative! There are lots of opportunities to do acts of kindness.
Lighten someone’s load. Homeschooling can be overwhelming. Do you have a friend who could use an afternoon to themselves? Taking the kids to the park could be a huge help. If that doesn’t work out, how about a pot of chili or a taco bar?
I saw this saying on Facebook and had to copy it to share with you. I can’t look you in the eyes, 😦 but I can tell you, “You are awesome! You are doing a great job teaching your children and they are blessed to have such a caring teacher and parent.”
Have a great week! ~Lisa~