As a health coach and veteran homeschooling mom, I hear a lot of stories of trauma. Parents homeschool because of school violence or bullying. People who come to me for health coaching often have stories of childhood abuse or trauma at the root of their chronic illness. With so much hurt occurring in the early years, we need to learn how to encourage kindness in our children and let it heal our own hurts in the process.
Ways to encourage kindness in children
One of the key ways we can encourage kindness in our children is through empathy. Young children need help connecting their own feelings to how others feel. Nurturing emotional intelligence in early childhood helps kids do that. After all, small children are very self-centered and usually must be taught to care about others. But, it can be challenging to be intentional about this. One way to make sure you get it done is with a program called Generous Students Homeschool Curriculum Kit from Generous Family.
Use thought provoking questions
One thing that kills a conversation is yes/no questions. The second thing that kills a conversation is asking questions for which the answer is obvious. I like to ask questions that require some critical thinking, questions like:
- “How could you have responded differently?”
- “What are some reasons that she might’ve responded that way?”
- “What thoughts went through your head right before you said that?”
The Generous Students Homeschool Curriculum Kit impressed me because it asked thought provoking questions that spark conversation and discussion around what it means to be generous in seven different arenas: thoughts, words, money, time, influence, attention, and belongings. Some examples are:
- How can you be an influence for the forgotten of our culture?
- How did people’s shared belongings reveal God’s love?
- What area in your life can you apply Jessie’s slogan, “Never ever give up?”
These are the kinds of questions that help kids really own what they’re learning.
Engage all learning styles
Another way of how to encourage kindness in kids is engaging all their senses, not just talking to them. Some kids learn better with storytelling, especially modern heroes not just Biblical ones. Some kids need to see it in action through video or even act it out themselves.
The Generous Students Homeschool Curriculum Kit offers an exclusive portal whereby you can show your kids videos that include missionaries, Bible heroes, everyday modern heroes, how-tos, music videos, podcasts, and object lessons. The portal also includes downloads to supplement the curriculum. These include things like generosity in action cards, coloring pages, a million thanks sample letters, and more. So, kids can experience the lessons through music, audio, video, interactive discussion, and hands-on projects, which I will talk more about below.
How to encourage kindness with easy, short lessons
Because Generous Students Homeschool Curriculum Kit was developed in partnership with dozens of real life homeschool families, the curriculum offers short, open and go lessons. No prep. And encouraging kindness is really best done in bite-size lessons anyway. When character lessons go on and on, kids tune out and all our words are wasted. In addition, most of the lesson is not you talking. Instead it’s a whole lot of them talking and doing.
This was one of my favorite parts because practice makes perfect, not lectures. I felt that the lessons were most engaging for kids ages 8-14. My two teens remaining in the house, ages 16 and 19, liked the real-life videos and the “walk the talk” aspects. But, I could tell that they weren’t really into some of the other things. That’s okay. It’s designed for the whole family so there’s something for everyone.
Make it super relevant to daily living
Now, this is where the rubber hits the road! Remember I mentioned hands-on projects and a lot of them talking and doing? Well, if you’ve read any of my other blog posts, you know I’m all about relevant, real world learning experiences. My absolute favorite part of the Generous Student Homeschool Curriculum Kit are all of the real world projects! After all, what good is reading about how to encourage kindness or watching others be kind and generous if you don’t put it into practice? Kids learn by doing and making it part of their lives. Here are some examples of projects:
- Addressing stinking thinking in themselves and others.
- Exercising random acts of kindness in their community.
- Writing letters to the military.
- Making Joy Jars.
- And many more!
But, kids first learn how to apply these principles to themselves and their families before venturing out. Of course, generosity, kindness, and compassion start at home with their siblings.
So, be part of the solution to all the trauma and negativity in the world. Get organized around how you’re going to teach these essential character traits so that they stick for a lifetime. The Generous Student Homeschool Curriculum Kit helps you do that. Check it out and grab your discount!
About Julie Polanco
Julie is a candidate for both an MSHHP and a FMCC because she is passionate about empowering moms suffering with chronic illness with the natural tools they need to take back their lives. As a 20 year plus veteran homeschooling mom diagnosed with fibromyalgia back in 2015, she knows first hand the struggles moms face just to get through the day. Julie also draws on her education in herbalism and aromatherapy to offer a truly natural approach. She not only follows a natural approach to health, but she applies the principles of “natural” to motivating and teaching kids, too. When she isn’t doing all that stuff, you might find her skimming her hand over the surface of Lake Michigan as she floats in her kayak, singing at the top of her lungs. Or, writing fantasy novels while sipping Earl Grey tea.