14 Little Ways to Encourage Kindness

Work as a Team

Make helping a family affair.

When a friend gets sick or a local family falls on hard times, grown-ups know what to do. They send flowers, bake casseroles, and pass the collection plate at church. Get your kids involved in these projects. Ask them what they'd like to do to help out, or suggest arranging the bouquet, layering noodles in the lasagna pan, or collecting cans of food. And when you drive over to deliver the gifts, take your kids along. They'll find out firsthand how good it feels to brighten someone's day. This is also a great opportunity to talk about being on the other side of the good-karma equation -- ask them whether they remember when someone did something nice for them and how it made them feel.

Share the wealth.

Teach your kids to see the abundance all around them and to think of people to share it with. When your rosebush explodes in bloom, invite your child to snip a few buds and take them to her teachers. Is his shelf overflowing with books? Suggest he donate a box to the library or a local family shelter. Package up leftover soup or cinnamon rolls, and take them to an elderly neighbor.

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