Feeling tired? Stressed out? Tired of all the negativity in the world? Try doing something nice for a stranger. Scientific studies have revealed that there is a strong link between appreciation and random acts of kindness and overall good health. Never underestimate the impact of a single act of kindness. You may change just their day, or you may change their entire way of thinking.
In our preschool in Jakarta where kindness and empathy are part of the curriculum, teachers report that teaching kindness supports a healthy learning environment, positive social emotional development, and academic achievement. Kindness also increases a child’s serotonin level, which plays an important part in memory, learning, digestion, and health.
Performing acts of kindness is a great way to bond with your children and teaches them about compassion and empathy. Modeling kindness for your children ensures that the next generation will understand the importance of being kind. While this time of year presents many chances for kindness—such as opportunities to volunteer and donate goods and services—performing these small acts all year long will benefit both the recipient and the giver.
An act of kindness does not need to cost money, or take a lot of time. In fact, you may be doing some already while trying to teach manners to your child. Some ideas for children to spread some happiness:
- Write a friendly note on the sidewalk in chalk to make a passerby smile.
- Pick up trash at the park.
- Make cards for a senior citizen home.
- Leave a friendly note in a library book.
- Donate a toy to charity.
- Hold the door open for a stranger.
There are also many ideas that you can participate in as a family:
- Make dinner for another family or elderly neighbor.
- Volunteer at a local animal or homeless shelter.
- Adopt a family.
- Give hot chocolate to someone working outside on a cold day.
- Take cookies to the local fire station.