In honor of World Smile Day (Friday, October 7th), we wanted to share how we teach our Cubs little acts of kindness very early on that can bring a smile to someone’s face (yes, this is a real day but shouldn’t it be every day?). I personally believe that a good foundation to kindness are MANNERS! A simple please and thank you or yes ma’am or sir (this is the Southern girl coming out in me) goes a long way. How young is too young? I say they are NEVER too young to be taught these simple words. My son is 2 and whenever he asks for anything, he has to say please and thank you. I may have to remind him every single time, but I’m confident one day he’ll catch on.
So let’s move on to the actual kindness part. How can you teach a toddler (or older child) kindness? Monkey see, monkey do. Your kids are watching you even when you don’t realize. If they see you show little acts of kindness, they will want to help, so make this a joint effort.
Food – It’s the perfect way to show someone you are thinking of them. When someone is going through a life change like having a new baby, this is always a great welcome home gesture. Have your kids help prepare a meal to take. For example, if you’re making lasagna, let them lay out the noodles or sprinkle the cheese on top. Teaching children to think of others is important. Knowing that something as simple as food can brighten someone’s day will show them that it doesn’t have to be big and fancy, it just has to be meaningful.
Clean-up – We love to host socials and playdates, but the clean-up is never fun. Have your Cub help clean and teach them to take care of their toys and space. Make this a team effort so it doesn’t feel like a chore. Pitching in and teaching little ones to do their part so that everyone can relax and have fun will not only teach them kindness but also to be helpful and respectful. Try making up a little clean-up song to make cleaning fun.
Hold the door – We have all been there, struggling to hold a door open while navigating a screaming child and stroller. Show Cubs that they can help by holding the door to let someone through. If the door is too heavy, show them the handicapped button and tell them to push so that the door can open (which kid doesn’t like to push buttons?). If you have a son, teach them to always hold the door for a lady 🙂 Romance and kindness is a solid way to any woman’s heart and they will thank you one day for raising a gentleman!
Give – Kids outgrow toys almost as fast as you can buy them. Teach kids to sort through their toys and explain to them that their toys are going to go and live with someone new. There are many charities that take gently used toys such as: Churches, Shelters, Women’s Centers, Preschools, and Hospitals. Give toys a chance to make another child’s day by donating them.
Here are some links where toys can be donated:
Toys For Tots – http://www.toysfortots.org/donate/toys.aspx
Shelter list – http://www.homelessshelterdirectory.org/
Ronald McDonald House – http://www.rmhc.org/chapter-search
Here are more donation location ideas – http://www.moneycrashers.com/where-donate-used-toys/
Little acts of kindness are big lessons for life! #CUBlife