Like every habit, kindness is a choice. It is a choice to be tender, noble, caring, compassionate, and warm-hearted. Adding a bit of kindness to someone’s day is like adding a bit of water to a wilted plant. Within minutes the plant comes alive and regains its perky self. More than anything in my life, being with children enlivens my spirit because they have a knack for random acts of kindness.
There have been countless times that my mind and spirit are wrapped up in the business of administering a school and along comes a student handing me a little note of appreciation or a drawing of a stick figure with a cowboy hat. Immediately, my administrative mind melts into a puddle of humility. The natural instinct for children to be kind is so obvious. Our job is to nurture this nature by congratulating it, expecting it, and explaining to them how powerful it is.
Did you know that an origin of the word kindness is nature? Kindness is natural. It is an act that begets what ought to be in human nature. When we do something kind, our lives grow, smiles blossom, friendships strengthen, and smiles widen. Kindness is a simple behavior with dramatic consequences. A little kindness goes a long way. Having children practice kindness even when it is difficult nurtures healthy and respectful little people.
Here are a few ways to practice kindness:
- Heart – cheerfully greet a new acquaintance.
- Mind – send a card or letter to a friend or family member.
- Body – draw a stick figure doing a random act of kindness.
- Soul – lookup kindness quotes on the internet and hang them on the refrigerator.
“Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” – Unknown
“You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Disciplining with Kindness
Correcting our children doesn’t have to be at the cost of kindness. Clear correction and redirection is most effective when we are firm, fair, and friendly. Without any sense of sarcasm, we can discipline our children with a peaceful countenance. Our face usually says a lot more than our words and sending a message without anger and frustration helps our children to know that they are loved despite their mistake. It doesn’t mean that there won’t be hefty consequences, but we don’t have to add a grouch face to go along with them.