Thursday, October 11, 2007

Teaching Kindness.... any ideas?

Kindness, Respect, Compassion and Communication are HUGE for me. When I think of what I want my Zoe to learn during her preschool years this is what comes up again and again. A few recent events have once again brought me to thinking about ways of teaching kindness.

I am clear that the best way to teach is by example. I try, Honestly I do. But sometimes I get so frustrated with her! ! ("FOR GOODNESS SAKE BE KIND!!!!!!") I need help. Help to change my patterns and help in the form of stories or familt activities. These are books that look interesting..... has anyone read them. Any recommendations?

Ordinary Mary's Extraordinary Deed by Emily Pearson (Author), Fumi Kosaka (Illustrator)

One Smile by Cindy McKinley (Author), Mary Gregg Byrne

Small Acts of Kindness by James Vollbracht (Author), Christopher Fay (Illustrator)

What about parenting books, recommendations?

I have been thinking about little ongoing activities to highlight kindness in our daily lifeand to encourage a better understanding of the practice of kindness?

Perhaps a kindness scarf? Everytime I see her being kind or am told about an act of kindness she can choose a patch of fabric to sew on her scarf. Then when it is ready to wear she will be wrapped in kindness. Another idea is keeping an ongoing list/journal of acts of kindness and at bedtime sharing one we did and received.

and of course I will commit toleading a better example (and getting more sleep)


Gillian said...

Have you read _Unconditional Parenting_ by alfie kohn, or _becoming the parent you want to be_ by someone I can't remember? Both are very wonderful. UP discusses how to interact with your child to help them learn how to make choices based on their action's effect on others rather than themselves (i.e. you don't rob a bank because it will damage someones business and take money from people who need it, rather than because you'll go to jail).
BtPyWtB talks a lot about what values you want to pass along and how best to do that.

Gillian said...

oh yes, and although the scarf idea sounds so cozy and lovely it's one of those activities that teaches one to be kind because they get a reward (another bit of cloth for the scarf) rather than because it is a good thing to do...