The real method of learning the meaning of kindness
By Barry Van Over, President of Premier Martial Arts International
I believe one of the things that children should learn is love expressed through kindness. For love is kindness in action. If adults around them are kind, kids learn to be kind. If they are exposed to things that show kindness, they will learn the different ways to show kindness.
Once I was traveling to New York City for work and was feeling really low and down in the dumps from what was a terrible day and I hailed a taxi cab for a ride home. When we arrived at the destination, I reached for my wallet and to my dismay saw that I lack the money that I needed to pay for the cab. Haltingly I apologized and asked if I could go down to get some money from the ATM down the street. The driver looked at me straight in the eyes and in the kindest tone said, “It’s okay, I’ll take whatever you have.” I thanked him profusely and somehow it helped dispel whatever bad feelings I had. I still remember that little act of kindness up to this day.
Here are wonderful acts of kindness ideas for kids of all ages. You can use these activities in school, at home or clubs / organizations. These actions will teach children what kindness really is and in a way they will never forget. This really can be a character and life changer for everyone, not just kids!
1. Hold the door open for those behind you.
2. Say good morning to your teacher, principal, school officials and classmates.
3. Offer to let your classmate go first.
4. Offer to take your neighbor’s dog for a walk.
5. Invite someone new over for a play-date. Collect foods and canned goods for a food bank.
6. Volunteer to be a tutor or mentor in a school, especially if there is an area in which you can help another student.
7. Give someone a compliment at least once every day.
8. Color a picture, make a craft or send a treat to a senior center or nursing home.
9. Donate your unwanted toys and books to the children in need.
10. Write a thank you note to your teacher, your coach, a firefighter, your mentor or someone who has influenced you in a positive way.
11. Clean up the area around your school or a local park, picking up trash and putting it in the garbage can. You can also help your teacher clean up the classroom.
12. Be extra kind to your bus driver.
13. Say hello when you get on the bus and say thank you when you get off the bus.
14. Call your grandparent(s) or other special family members who you do not see often.
15. Donate your unwanted toys and books to the children in need.
16. Write a note to your parent(s) or grandparent(s) and tell them why they are special to you.
17. Help around the house without being asked to do so, such as cleaning your room, taking out the garbage or helping with the laundry.
18. Going to a new school can be really scary so be friendly to the new students in your class or grade.
19. Organize the clothes you don’t wear anymore and donate them to a clothing drive or shelter.
20. Smile. Smiling is easy and happiness is contagious!
Barry Van Over is the owner and president of Premier Martial Arts International, of which there are currently over 80 location nationwide. Mr. Van Over has two locations in the West Knoxville area and been empowering families lives through the martial arts in the Knoxville community for over 20 years. Mr. Van Over and his local studios can be reached at www.premiermartialarts.com.