World Kindness Day is coming up on Friday, November 13th. As COVID-19 numbers rise and the pandemic deepens, we can all use more kindness in our day. We asked some awesome Lower Mainland moms how they encourage their kids to be kind to others.
To quote Dr Bonnie Henry: “Be calm, be kind, be safe.”
Be honest with them
“We know as adults that we have people we dislike or don’t get along with, but it’s still no excuse to treat others badly. I always tell my kids they don’t have to be friends with everybody, but they have to be kind to everybody.”
~ Danielle D’Sena, mom of 4.
Lead by example
“My oldest is a high schooler. I won’t pretend for a minute that he’s perfect or flawless, but he’s kind. My 11-year-old has been captain of his hockey team. Parents and coaches kept telling me how kind and supportive he is of his teammates. Our family motto is ‘I don’t care if you’re the best at sports, if you’re the best at the school, be the best YOU, you can be.’ I just want to raise good humans who try their best and think of others. Being kind when it doesn’t benefit you or your kids directly is genuine kindness.”
~ Tannis Holm, mom of 2.
Small acts of kindness
“If you show someone kindness it could change their day! You never know how just doing a small kind gesture will affect someone. Before COVID, offering to return their shopping cart or help them bag groceries. Now with COVID going on just a smile or a witty comment goes a long way!”
~ Jessica Edwards, mom of 4.
Teach them empathy
“I encourage my children to share with each other, help each other and be empathic. If one of them is frustrated with something I get the others to help them by carry things that are too heavy for the younger ones and really encourage them to think about how the others are feeling. I also get them to make birthday cards for friends and family and encourage them to do something nice for others without expecting anything in return.”
~ Lisa Foulds, mom of 3.
Vocalize their feelings
“We have small rituals like asking the kids to ‘tell us three good things that happened today’ while we tuck them into bed. Sometimes we go around the dinner table and have the kids say three things they love about the person sitting next to them. Especially after a day of arguments or a tough time getting along with their sibling. I feel like learning to express their feelings out loud is a big piece in learning to communicate and practice kindness.” –
~ Katie Kennedy, mom of 4.
Make them include others
“I have three kids so I don’t want anyone to be left out. I make the older two include the baby, even if she is crawling up to them. Also, if someone makes a mess I give them both little cloths, so they are learning how important it is to help others.”
~ Nikki Nercessian, mom of 3.
Explain the importance to little ones
“Our family speaks a lot about our ‘heart attitudes.’ What is the motivation behind what we are doing? Does our heart feel good about the actions we choose? What can we do to help our heart attitudes from being self driven to helping others? These discussions help our children think past themselves and look at those around them in the community.”
~ Selena Lye, mom of 3.
Sometimes you gotta yell (Real mom talk – we have all been here!)
“Hmm… I’m not sure if I’m the best one to quote on this, but I mostly have to yell at my kids to be kind to each other. LOL. But I always encourage my daughter to be kind at school. You never know what someone is dealing with on the inside and I find being kind forces us to find the good in anything. Kindness is contagious.”
~ Jenni Nielsen, mom of 2.
After speaking with so many incredible moms it’s obvious that raising kind children is important to everyone. Remember to be kind to others, kind to yourself and most important teach your kids the value of simple acts of kindness. Here are some super easy ideas for you to show kindness to your children and get them involved in doing kind deeds:
Pandemic friendly acts of kindness
- Have your kids draw or paint pictures and drop them off to family and friends houses or mail them.
- Wave when someone lets you in while driving. Show your kids how to be friendly to other drivers.
- Send ‘I miss you’ or ‘I’m thinking of you’ texts to people you haven’t seen in awhile.
Text photos and cute videos to loved ones – especially if you have any grandparents or great-grandparents who haven’t seen the kids in awhile.
- Donate! There are so many local charities struggling this year due to the pandemic.
- They are in desperate need of your donations. If you can afford it donating is one of the kindest things you can do right now.
Kindness is important to me because I feel like there is so much negative in the world these days between cyber bullying, self esteem issues in young kids, unrealistic expectations that parents out on children from a young age, the pressure to fit in… there are so many ways for them to have low self esteem at a young age.
Kera is a full-time mom with three kids. She lives in the suburbs of Vancouver and recently started Kids Cuddles Coffee, a ‘mommy-news’ blog. She loves going on adventures with her kids all over the Lower Mainland. She has a passion for writing and the news. Before becoming a mom she worked at CBC radio and at a local newspaper. Follow her on Instagram @kidscuddlescoffee