Parent Suggestions: 6 Ways Kids Can Spread Kindness
National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month may be over, but spreading kindness is a yearlong mission. While spreading kindness will require some time, thought, and research, it can be an incredibly rewarding and educational experience for kids of all ages. And with online school, students have plenty of opportunities to achieve both personal and academic goals!
You can help your student spread kindness daily in your community, on the go, and even at home. To get your child started on his or her kindness adventures, we’ve gathered a few ways that students at Connections Academy®–supported schools spread kindness.*
Volunteer in your community.
Volunteering is a great hands-on way for students to spread kindness. Through volunteering, kids can learn to work with others for an important cause and gain a greater appreciation for all the positive things in their life. Many online school students have also found that it is a valuable socialization experience. Consider doing some research to find out what volunteer options are available in your area through special interest clubs, civic or charitable organizations, recreation councils, or houses of worship.
“My students volunteer as much as time allows. They help at church, at a co-op, and at a kids’ group for a local organization.” —Valari Avilez
“I think the way my kids show kindness the most is by serving the homeless at Salvation Army’s Hope Chapel. The ‘regulars’ there know them by name because they actually take the time to speak to these people. They don’t just serve them a plate of food; they take the time to hear their stories and just chat with them.” —Michelle Sandoval
“My daughter’s goal is to do at least ten hours of community service a month! She has donated to dog rescues (did a lemonade stand to raise money), adopted families at Christmas, and volunteered at disabled events. She remains in contact with her disabled buddy.” —Megan Nett
“My daughter helps students who need math help in inner-city public schools.” —Sara R. Rice
Reach out to those in need.
If there aren’t a lot of volunteering opportunities in the area, start looking around your neighborhood! Elderly neighbors in particular could greatly benefit from assistance and kindness. Even if it’s something as simple as picking up mail, the thoughtful act will most likely brighten someone’s day.
“My daughter spreads kindness by checking on our elderly neighbors and helping them with small chores like watering their plants, bringing in their mail, and walking their animals. Some days she will read the newspaper to Mr. Sears because he is legally blind. She enjoys seeing their smiling faces as much as they enjoy her visiting them.” —Joni Paris Horne
“My eleven-year-old baked and cooks meals for the elderly lady across the street and collected supplies to send to Puerto Rico.” —Courtney Tucker Shogran
“My son started cutting grass for neighbors, family, and friends, and he donated all his money to help the people in Las Vegas.” —Sherry Snelling Scott Kirk
“We help our neighbor who just had hip replacement surgery.” —Heather Eberle Hornback
Bullying often starts when a child is maliciously left out of a particular friend group, game, club, or social outing. Remind students to treat others like they would want to be treated by being kind and respectful toward everyone. If one of your child’s peers is feeling lonely or left out, encourage your child to reach out with acceptance and compassion.
“My kiddos try to be the first to say hi to new kids in our community. My oldest has stood up to bullies for kids who don’t feel confident enough to do so. And my son became good friends with a little boy with a health condition simply by treating him as he would treat any other kid.” —Elizabeth Lenz
“When out at parks or where other children are around, my son will always go to the child who is playing alone and play with him or her. He always introduces himself and engages in what that child may be doing, and before he knows it he has made a new friend.” —Tim Julie Baumert
Show respect to others daily.
It may not seem like it in the moment, but a quick and simple gesture such as opening a door for someone can really go a long way. Be sure to model kind behavior while out with your student, as kids tend to pay closer attention to actions than to words. You can also have a discussion about the positive impact of kindness.
“My student spreads kindness when we are out and about. It’s the little stuff, like helping someone in the grocery store or picking up someone’s cane. Once when we were at the emergency veterinarian, my student helped a blind man to the restroom and then waited outside the door to help him get back to the seating area.” —Anne Wi
“My daughter always holds doors open when she sees people (especially older citizens) coming or going, wherever we are. If anyone drops something, she scurries to help them. She is a ten-year-old who embodies the Girl Scout motto: do a good turn daily. Everyday kindness means everything!” —Tara Ann Rader
“Both of my children spread love by smiling and saying hello to everyone they see!” —Chelsea Rose
Make special crafts.
Making crafts is a fun kindness activity, especially for younger students—and it’s something the whole family can do together after learning at home! Some families make special crafts and take them to places like nursing homes, homeless shelters, and hospitals.
“My boys often perform random acts of kindness for one another and others. They like surprising people with fun handmade gifts.” —Misty O’Brien
“My daughters spread kindness by painting rocks and leaving them all around our city at places where people might need a little extra love, including doctor’s offices, hospitals, and stores.” —Heather Southwell
Have a kindness day.
With more scheduling flexibility, online school families can integrate kindness into their lives by planning a weekly or monthly kindness adventure! Not only is it a unique and exciting approach for spreading kindness, but also it can be a great bonding and learning experience.
“My kids and I are starting a monthly kindness scavenger hunt outing. We perform one to three acts of kindness in two hours. In the past we have paid for meals behind us in a drive-thru, donated our spare change to the Ronald McDonald house, and delivered surprise donuts to a friend who hadn’t done anything special for her birthday. We have several ideas in mind for our next outing. I’m excited to watch my kids spread love, not hate.” —Kate Woodhams
Students can spread kindness each day with your example, guidance, and encouragement!
How does your student spread kindness? Share your stories and ideas in the comments.