Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Virtue in Focus: Kindness

We Choose Virtues, the fantastic tool that we are using to help us work on and acquire virtues, inspires kindness by way of its very simple catchphrase: I treat others the way I like to be treated. It's what the Bible says, in simpler words.

There are numerous opportunities in our daily lives to teach our children kindness. The simplest one is through modeling kindness ourselves! With our family's focus in virtues, I've become conscious of what I do, and actively take note of good behavior that I see in my older child.

Here are some ideas to inspire and teach kindness to your children. Remember that the first objective for very young children is to just get them to be aware of the character traits that we are trying to instill in them.


Books provide easy examples for kindness.

The best that I found containing this theme are the books in the Frog and Toad series written by Caldecott and Newbery awardee Arnold Lobel. Considered part of the classic children's books canon, the series is about two good friends who always do kind things for each other. Reading old favorites with a purpose (which was to look for acts of kindness) gave us a different experience from our previous readings. The "kindness lens" made us realize just how caring Frog and Toad really are for each other.

First Bible Stories

A look at kindness will not be complete without the story of The Good Samaritan. We have several Bible story books that we enjoy reading time and again. The varied styles between each other prove to be interesting and not boring at all even if the stories are just the same (of course!) You might be interested in a review that I wrote of the different Bible story books that we use. Click here.


                                         Source: via Lisa on Pinterest

Teaching our children the concept of treating others the way they want to be treated themselves should be accompanied by a lesson in empathy. Here are some easy ways:
  • Talk about feelings. You can download and print two copies of  flashcards like the image above for a memory game.
  • Experiment with different facial expressions and make a guessing game out of it!
  • As you read books, look at the pictures and talk about what a character might be feeling
  • Ask your child for ideas on how he would want another person to treat him if he was going through a particular emotion: sad, mad, happy.
  • Take turns in acting out different emotions and responding to each other.

The acquisition of virtues is a process, and not an overnight thing. Don't worry if your child "slips" once in a while. I don't! :D 

Make magic!

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