Have you heard the phrase, a little bit of kindness goes a long way? Kindness is one of many character traits we nurture in our VPS Warriors. What is kindness? The dictionary defines kindness as the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate. The Bible defines kindness as an attribute of God and a quality desirable but not consistently found in humans. Sadly, it has to specify that it is not a consistent quality when kindness should be an essential part of our lives.
Kindness is something we, as parents, teachers, leaders, siblings, and friends, should teach younger generations on. We must teach and encourage our children and teens to be kind because their kindness will be vital for cultivating healthy relationships in the future. Most people nowadays look out for themselves and their necessities rather than thinking about the people around them. They are so self-absorbed in their survival that they forget to look out for others. We need to be agents of change and start fostering a generation of kind people who practices God's commandment of loving others as God loved us.
We must model kindness to our children. Children learn by example. Whether they are children or teens, kindness can help them make an impact on others and inspire them to do the same. To help you with the task of teaching them how to be kind, here are some ideas from the Boys & Girls Club of America on how they can show kindness at school:
SIT BESIDE SOMEONE NEW AT LUNCHTIME- Everyone deserves to feel included at school. One of the best ways to help others feel seen and appreciated is by getting to know them, and what better way than over lunch? Encourage children and teens to expand their horizons and sit with someone new — especially if they see another person sitting alone. Kids can talk about their hobbies, where they live, and their favorite teachers. Who knows? A new best friend might be sitting right in front of them.
SMILE- There is nothing more uplifting than a spontaneous smile from someone — and the benefits are mutual. Research shows that smiling can help relieve stress, elevate mood, and help people feel more positive. Children and teens can share a smile to turn a tough day around or as a small act of kindness for someone else.
GIVE YOUR FULL ATTENTION-In a world full of distractions, giving someone your full attention can be one of the greatest (and unexpected) random acts of kindness. They can practice giving someone their full attention by:
Putting away mobile devices
Making eye contact while the other person speaks
Nodding in acknowledgment
Waiting for the other person to finish before speaking
Asking the other person if they would like feedback or an opinion
SAY THANK YOU TO THE SCHOOL STAFF-It takes many people to run a school, and everyone makes valuable contributions, from teachers to administrators, coaches, janitors, and other staff members. Encourage children to thank the people who work at their school. It does not have to be for something specific; it can just be thank you for everything you do. Saying thank you makes the other person feel appreciated and helps foster an attitude of gratitude in kids, which is the perfect mindset to build a great future.
GIVE NOTES OF ENCOURAGEMENT- Kids can do simple random acts of kindness by leaving a note of encouragement on a classmate’s desk or locker. Here are some smile-worthy phrases kids can write on a sticky note:
You are special!
Keep up the great work!
I loved your project!
Thanks for being you!
You are awesome!
You can do it!
HELP TO CLEAN UP-Encourage children and teens to keep their school campus clean by picking up litter when they see it, recycling, and notifying a teacher or staff member if something needs fixing. Random acts of kindness like this make staff members' jobs easier and cultivate a sense of responsibility.
HELP THOSE IN NEED- Children and teens who excel in certain subjects can assist their classmates who need extra help. Not only will they get an A+ for their efforts, but it might inspire others to be more helpful.
SHARE WITH OTHERS- If a classmate is missing a school material or snack and you have, share it with them.
These are only a few ways to show kindness at school; there are more ways to show kindness at school. At VPS, we are constantly encouraging our Warriors to act with kindness. It is our mission to develop empathetic and compassionate beings who can transform our community with their care and love. For us, being kind is not something for special occasions; it is a way of life we should practice all year round. These random acts of kindness will blossom into other acts of love, and little by little, we will positively impact their future.