“So I say to myself, remember this, ‘Kindness begins with me!’”
Anybody else learn that song growing up?
That is one of the Sunday School songs that has always stuck with me and will still get stuck in my head randomly. Especially when I’m not feeling super kind feelings toward someone…
But ultimately, it’s true. Kindness really does begin with us as individuals. It’s part of who we are and is also something we can continually develop as we surround ourselves with people and examples who demonstrate kindness.
I recently listened to a 3 in 30 Podcast episode called “How to teach your kids about disability” https://3in30podcast.com/captivate-podcast/149-teaching-children-about-disability-amy-webb/ with Amy Webb. She reminded me that the goal is not kindness, it’s friendship and inclusion. That’s 100% right. Being nice is nice, but there has to be more to our kindness than just being nice. Raising kind kids is one of my greatest goals as a mother, and my hope is that my daughters will be friends and inclusive with more than just who looks and acts just like them–and that I will too!
Kindness really is a fundamental component of that, so I do my best to help my girls develop that. We intentionally don’t watch cartoons where the characters are usually mean. Our books have characters that don’t always look like us. We point out when someone does something kind for them so they can recognize how good people are. I compiled a short list of great books, movies and a couple fun resources to help you surround yourself and your daughters with reminders of kindness, friendship, and inclusion.
This is a great compilation of picture and chapter books about kindness, inclusion, and friendship. Remember, you don’t have to buy books–libraries are wonderful!
Movies that show Kindness
As with all movies and shows, I recommend watching first or checking out websites like Common Sense Media to get an idea of what’s in the movie to make sure it aligns with your family values/rules.
Other fun stuff
If you read my last post about kindness activities to do with your daughter, then you know I love leaving sticky notes for people. These ones are ready made for you to just stick around to cheer people up!
I also super love journals and guided journals. This Kindness Journal is a great way to help kids think and act more intentionally with kindness.
I hope this list helps you build a more kind home library or reference to help teach your daughter more about what it means to show kindness! Any that I missed that you’d add?