How Kids Can Promote and Encourage Kindness

Promote and Encourage Kindness Kids

Parents and educators can talk to adolescents all day about the importance of being kind, but for the message to truly take hold it should come from those they relate to best. But how can kids promote and encourage kindness amongst their general age group without seeming sanctimonious to those who may be resistant? Below is a lesson to share with your child so that they can spread goodwill in an irresistible and sustainable way!

How Children Can Encourage Kindness Among their Friend Groups, Classmates, and Young Community

Leading by Example

The “Race to Kindness” video above featuring an impressive young man by the name of Orion Jean leads with the following quote:

“While we can’t force others to be kind, we can be kind ourselves and hope to inspire other people”

These words of wisdom say it all. Further, there is real science behind it. In a recent article we discussed the concept of observational learning. Observational learning refers to the process where adolescents learn, retain information, and replicate behaviors by watching others. The aforementioned article was written in context of parents leading by example. However, observational learning can be just as effective, maybe more so, when occurring among young peers. 

The 11 year old Orion Jean started a kindness initiative after winning money from a local speech contest. In a TIME Magazine interview with actor and humanitarian Angelina Jolie, Orion added another quotable that we can’t help but borrow and share today:

“So many people have great ideas, but never act on them. I think it’s all about really caring about the issues that you’re seeing. Someone told me that you have to find something that breaks your heart for you to really get out there and make a difference in that area. And I want others to know that they can start today. If there’s an issue or problem or something that they see that they want to solve, all it takes is really just knowing deep down inside that it’s something you care about, and you can go out and get started.”

Orion said so much in so few sentences, and touched on a number of topics that our Foundation has addressed in prior articles. While it’s easy to say that one can encourage kindness by leading by example, there are internal hurdles that many kids need to overcome first. 

To address the part about so many having great ideas, but not acting upon them, we ask parents/teachers to reference this guide on How Children Can Learn to Stop Procrastinating and this brief tutorial on How to Teach Kids to Work Hard. This will enable them to complete projects and clear the way for them to start a charitable initiative of their own. In doing so, they will lead by example as their peers observe the good work they’re doing and feel inspired to do something similar. Some may initially be motivated by the rewards. Being named TIME’s “Kid of the Year” certainly doesn’t hurt one’s social standing. But when they see how supporting those in need has made a positive difference, they will beam with pride and develop a behavior of kindness that will spread to others in their immediate community.

And that part about “find something that breaks your heart” says it all, doesn’t it? 

Share Orion’s story with your child. At the very least it will inspire them to be more kind, but it also opens the door for much more. In a year or so from now another parent may share your inspiring kid’s initiative with their very own, inciting a wave of kindness that jumps from one generation to the next.

Has your child done something special to promote kindness in their community? Be sure to connect us on Facebook and YouTube to share the experience with our Foundation and audience. We’d love to hear all about it!  

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