Teach Random Acts of Kindness To Your Kids!

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”
~ Leo Buscaglia

I just realized it’s Random Acts Of Kindness Week! I first published this post in 2012 and thought it would be good to re-publish! Enjoy!

A ripple is an amazing part of nature. A rock causes a huge splash at the beginning. There is a middle where the circle is perfect. Then the tiny ripples go out from there. It is a perfect symbol for people who do nice things for people they don’t know.

Think of the many things we try to teach our children in life: manners, good study habits, politeness, saving money, respect for your elders and don’t do what everyone else does.

But do you ever think about teaching kindness? It sounds very simple but sometimes I think we expect our children to be naturally kind but in fact like any other personality trait, only a few have kindness as a natural part of their personality. Children seem to be more likely not to be kind.

Did you know this week is Random Acts of Kindness Week? What a perfect week, just after Valentine’s Day, to teach kindness and love for people we don’t even know.

The RAK week fits in perfectly with the story of Laura, a mom at our preschool. She had seen a link to the Random Acts of Kindness organization and decided to introduce this concept to her kids. She knew that children are very concrete and usually need to see what is happening in their world to understand it. Sending school supplies far away to a place like Africa is a very good thing, but her 5 and 6 year old couldn’t imagine it. Laura thought the kids should start with something local. So they started out with taping quarters to the gumball machine for kids without money. Isn’t that a great idea? They brought a big container of Starbuck’s coffee for all the moms at her daughter’s dance class. Then the dance teacher brought the unfinished coffee to a dinner she was going to. She paid it forward!! And this family is just getting started!

This got me thinking that teaching children to love anonymously is a great gift to give them. Here are some ideas of teaching your children Random Acts of Kindness. The first 13 ideas can be done by your children themselves. The next ideas need you as the parent to help out.

30 Random Acts Of Kindness To Do With Your Children!

1. Smile at five strangers
2. Hold the door open for someone
3. Help a neighbor with light yard work
4. Let someone go in front of you in line
5. Return a shopping cart
6. Pick up trash in your neighborhood
7. Wash a car
8. Say good morning to people
9. Complain less
10. Make someone laugh
11. Share a toy
12. Be a positive person
13. Compliment a friend
14. Bring canned food to a food bank
15. Hand out popsicles at a park
16. Carry around lollypops for crying kids at stores
17. Put something nice in the mailbox for the mail man
18. Say thank you to the bus driver
19. Pay for the person behind you in a drive thru or at the toll booth.
20. Tape quarters to the gumball machine
21. Leave flowers or candy at someone’s door, ring the doorbell and run away! (We do this at Christmas for a special family each year for 12 days…but that’s another post!)
22. Sponsor a family at Christmas
23. Donate to the local food bank
24. Make cookies for your teacher
25. Hand out a $2 bill when you catch someone doing something nice. (We do this because someone did it for us)
26. Put a gift card on someone’s windshield
27. Bring a neighbor dinner
28. Shovel a neighbor’s walk without telling them
29. Send a real letter to someone
30. Leave kind notes on other people’s windshield

My kids and I have done a few of these ideas. We plan to do them all in the next 12 months. Please, write more ideas in the comments below! Please check out the Facebook page, Paying It Forward, One Day At A Time for some great stories and other ideas!

You and your children can change the world, one person at a time! And you don’t have to have kids to practice Random Acts Of Kindness – you can change the world yourself!! :)

“Fill each day with life and heart. There is no pleasure in the world comparable to the delight and satisfaction that a good person takes in doing good.”
~ John Tilloston (1630-1694); Archbishop Of Canterbury

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7 Responses to Teach Random Acts of Kindness To Your Kids!

  1. Carmen says:

    Betsy, you have shared some great ideas that everyone can do! Just think….how much better the world would be if we all did something for someone everyday! Teaching our kids about kindness and helping others is a beautiful thing that they will carry with them forever! Thank you for the mention! ♥

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  2. vanita says:

    my younger teen and I have been discussing ripples and the “butterfly effect” lately. By nature she’s really a kind person. Makes me very proud. This is a wonderful list. She mentioned wanting to start a “kindness movement” at school. Looking forward to sharing your list with her.

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  3. Hi Betsy! What a wonderful parenting tip! Super list -and I especially love the idea of taping quarters to a vending machine! You could do that to parking meters too.

    Now I’m going to time-travel back to when my kids were small (after I share this on FB) and do some of these with the kids!

    Happy Random Act of Kindness Week
    Lori

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  4. Elle says:

    What a wonderful compilation Betsy. It’s so true, our little sprites have taken their mantra of ‘just be kind’ into school where it’s catching on! :-)

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  5. Melissa says:

    Ohhhh I LOVE your list Betsy!

    I am going to print it out and hang it somewhere for my kids to see. What a great inspiration and reminder. Random Act of Kindness week! I best get busy!

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  6. Hi Betsy. I love doing random acts of kindness with my little ones and honestly it’s been a while since we have. (I won’t count Christmastime just because we had the season in mind.) Do you remember the balloon story I shared with you? Perhaps two years ago? They loved doing that. I didn’t realize that this week is RAK week. So glad to see this post. We will add something special to the week. Thank you! ~J

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  7. Love your list of 30 Random Acts Of Kindness To Do With Your Children, Betsy! So wonderful to start early and teach children the value of spreading kindness and compassion to their fellow humans. Great reminder – thank you!

    [Reply]

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