Happy World Kindness Day! What it is, and how you and your kids can get involved

Happy World Kindness Day! What it is, and how you and your kids can get involved

It may be Friday the 13th, but November 13th is also World Kindness Day.

What is World Kindness Day?

A global 24-hour celebration dedicated to paying-it-forward and focusing on the good. Kindness Day first began when a collection of humanitarian groups from several nations, now known as the World Kindness Movement, united on November 13, 1997 and made a “Declaration of Kindness."

What can you do?

First, do something kind.

As Aesop said, "No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted."

It can be something as simple as holding the door for others, or letting them know that you appreciate them, be it by written note, text, call, or in person. RAK_be_one

A small act of kindness can be helping a neighbor by raking their leaves, taking someone feeling down with a treat like a flower or cookies, or donating to one of your favorite non-profit organization. (If you're looking for one, I'm a big fan of No Kid Hungry.)

It can be buying a few items to donate to Toys for Tots or similar programs this holiday season. Or it can be a larger commitment, like finding a charity in need of volunteers and signing up.

If you need some ideas, check out ideas from the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation here and here.  I love that the first idea in the second link is "do something nice for yourself."

Ask your kids to come up with their ideas of ways to be kind, they may surprise you.

Second, promote the idea of kindness. It's contagious.

Not only is kindness contagious, it's free, it can be easy, and it is important.

I love the images in this post that were done by the RandomActsofKindness.org. Share them on social media and maybe print one out to put on your back door for a daily reminder that a little kindness goes a long way.

Anyone can be kind. We're all very capable. Sometimes, though, a reminder to take a deep breath and think about being kind is the nudge we need to both see the good and be the good.

While sharing something on social media may not seem to make a huge impact, you may not know the influence it has. As a bonus, when our kids share something stating a commitment to kindness, they send a message about the kind of person they want to be, and what they want their corner of the world (online and off) to look like.

Third, talk with your kids about kindness.RAK_believe

“When we feel love and kindness toward others, it not only makes others feel loved and cared for, but it helps us also to develop inner happiness and peace.” —Dalai Lama

Being kind is good for everyone, both the person being kind and the recipient of the kindness. It's often the case that we get more than we give.

Research from the University of California, Riverside showed tweens ages 9-11 who performed acts of kindness towards others were happier and also tended to be the students with whom their classmates wanted to spend time. Other studies studies show that kindness has many physical, emotional, and mental health benefits. 

It's important for our kids to see the kindness directed their way, too. I like to ask my child each day to tell me about something kind that someone did for her that day.

Read or reread Wonder by R.J. Palacio, which encourages all to Choose Kind. Or watch this Kid President video reminding us that we are little people living out big love.

Remind kids that kindness is important no matter where they are communicating, including online. Talk with your kids about how important it is to THINK before posting or sharing anything online - that means asking is it true, helpful, important, necessary, and kind.

That last one - kind - is hugely important, and the focus of today. Let's make it a big part of every single day. What are your favorite ways to show kindness? RAK_kindness_is_free

You May Also Like: In online communication, Kindness Wins and so does the book of the same name

Prior Post: Fantastic video on consent that all teens and their parents should watch

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Filed under: Parenting

Tags: world kindness day

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