How to Teach Kids about Kindness

I was a bit excited today because my green thumbed girlfriend came over and advised me that my pumpkins were ready for harvesting! I added a rotten pumpkin to my compost pile, and the compost just happened to be the right environment for the pumpkin seeds to grow! My daughter Ash was feeling ripped off because she had shown kindness to one of her siblings, and felt they owed her. I explained, that we can’t control others. ‘But it’s not fair! I did something nice for them and they should do something nice for me!’ Ash said. I explained, that whatever we sow we will reap. In other words, what you plant in the soil you will harvest. If you plant pumpkin seeds, you will reap pumpkins. Every time you do something nice, something nice will come back to you. Every time you do something nasty, something nasty will come back to you.

I asked Ash if anything good had happened to her lately. She said, ‘Yes, I’ve been accepted in to PEAC, I won $1000, and I keep finding dollar coins on the ground whenever we go out.’ I also added that she was healthy, had a family that loved her, and had her basic needs met. I asked her if she put a lot of kindness out. ‘Yes. I help my brothers and sisters and I make food for our family. But it’s not fair when the others don’t do nice things back to me.’ I explained that it doesn’t matter who receives the kindness. If she puts it out there, it will come back to her. I suggested that perhaps all of these good things were happening to her because of all the good she was putting out there.

‘So it doesn’t matter if your brother or sister doesn’t repay the kindness you’ve shown them. You’re sowing kindness and you will be repaid  in ways you don’t expect. This doesn’t mean that you let people treat you badly or walk all over you. You still need to have boundaries. This just means, that you put kindness out there because it will come back to you. It might not come back from the person you were kind to, but it will find its way back to you. If someone is nasty to you, you don’t need to take revenge because they are sowing nastiness, and unfortunately, it will come back to them. So if someone is nasty to you, don’t be nasty back, because that is sowing nastiness, and you don’t want that to come back to you. The penny dropped and Ash gave me a really big hug! It was a beautiful moment.

What am I sowing? What you sow is your actions, and your actions are determined by your thoughts. What is my compost/environment like? Your environment is the people you surround yourself with. Is it a negative environment that cultivates gossip, ungratefulness or self-pity? Or is it nurturing, encouraging, uplifting, challenging? We're not pumpkin plants. Therefore we choose our environment! If it’s not healthy, walk away and intentionally surround yourself with positive, like minded people. The pumpkins, or the fruit of positive things in your life will naturally take over like some pumpkin seeds that have been planted in some healthy compost! So that is how you teach kids about kindness! Are you mindful of what you’re sowing? Are you happy with your environment?