By Susan Ciancio
How do we teach our children to be kind and to treat others well? They must see us treating others well. We have to exhibit kindness. They must hear us talking kindly about—and to—others. They must see us performing acts of kindness with a generous and loving heart.
We not only need to teach them to do nice things for others, but we must also teach them to accept another person’s kindness and to do so graciously, especially as they get older. As adults, we know that performing an act of kindness is sometimes much easier than accepting an act of kindness. Accepting kindness can be very difficult. But it is actually a gift of immense proportions. If we teach our children this from a very young age, they will grow up living it.
We know that it can be extremely hard to allow others to do things for us, but this isn’t something kids experience. People are always doing things for them. But it’s also in their nature to want to help others. I’m sure your children have asked to help make cookies, sweep the floor, put away dishes, or fold the laundry. Doing these things makes them feel like a “big kid.” They feel like they’re contributing to the household. And your acceptance of their kindness, even if they spill more flour on the counter than in the bowl, is a tremendous gift. They are learning to derive joy from doing for others.
When our kids become used to contributing to the well-being of the household, this will eventually and naturally transfer to wanting to contribute to the well-being of their school, their community, and the world.
That is why we must teach our children what a great gift it is to be able to take care of others, to act in the person of Christ, and to show people that they matter.
We want our children to see a need and to take action to fill that need. We want them to look at the world around them and make it better. But they will only do this if we constantly teach them how.
When we teach them to live out kindness and to do things to help others, we are helping them grow as God’s children. We are building a sense of community. We are giving them the ability to derive joy from their service. And we are teaching them love and compassion. This builds a better world. It builds a culture of life.
The Culture of Life Studies Program has the perfect lesson to help teach your children that people come in all shapes and sizes, that kindness really does matter, and that kindness is an immense gift to both the giver and receiver.
Entitled All Shapes and Sizes, this lesson for grade school students kindergarten and older examines Down syndrome, autism, the beauty of the elderly, and the fact that it’s okay to be different.
This four-week unit study comes with a 78-page instructor guide and uses four picture books (purchased separately) to help children understand that, though someone on the playground or in school may act or look different, we are all God’s children, and we all have dignity and deserve love. In fact, it’s the differences that make us wonderful!
All Shapes and Sizes helps students understand the value of every human being and that they must treat others well and kindly. In addition to teaching valuable lessons, this amazing unit study contains fun crafts, puzzles, recipes, and more!
Your children will see that acts of kindness really do make a difference, and they will learn how wonderful it feels to be a giver rather than a receiver.
People really do come in all shapes and sizes. Help your children embrace these differences as Christ would. Help them see that different does not mean better; different does not mean worse. We are all equal in the eyes of God. He could not love us any more than He already does.
Let us teach our kids to love as He loves, to give as He gives, and to treat others as He would.