If there’s one thing we can all learn from this pandemic it’s that there is power in kindness and compassion. Whether it’s a small donation, a thank you card, or a simple phone call to a relative, kindness makes a big impact to others as well as to ourselves. As we stay home, this gives parents an opportunity to teach kids how important the value of kindness really is and why it’s needed most during bad times.
Here are some simple and enjoyable ways to teach kindness while in quarantine.
Staying home means extensive amounts of time on the internet and browsing through a lot of disheartening news. However, there is still a lot of good going around online and offline that you can show your kids. Search for local artists or theater companies conducting free workshops and storytelling sessions on social media. Look for videos and stories showing the heroic generosity of doctors, nurses, grocery workers, security personnel, delivery drivers, and all other front line workers who are doing their best to keep all of us safe and the country’s economy moving despite this ordeal. Reading and talking about acts of kindness other people are doing may help them understand how much impact a good deed can make. Plus, this also shows kids a message of hope despite all the worry.
Take time to write down the things you’re grateful for. These things could simply be having food on the table, a roof over your heads, and staying healthy. You could also recall who are the essential workers you know and write their names so you can give them a call or text just to simply say, ‘Thank you for your service!’ The next time you make a purchase online you might want to make thank you notes for the delivery riders to brighten up their day.
A gratitude list is also a great way to help your kids realize that they have much to be thankful for and much to share with others who are in need.
After making a gratitude list, try to search and brainstorm with your kids about which donation drives you’d want to help out with. There are many efforts going on right now that support medical frontliners, patients, families, and so much more. These efforts include providing necessary personal protective equipment to medical workers and vulnerable groups of people, distributing hygiene kits to families in underprivileged communities, funds to subsidize the income of displaced artists and other individuals who lost their jobs due to the quarantine. Take the time to do some research and explain what these donation efforts are for to your kids and the causes which mean the most to you and your family. Not all of us may be out there fighting the virus, but we can still help by sharing our resources.
A small act of kindness like checking in on your friends and family can go a long way. Together with your kids, you can schedule a video call with grandma and grandpa. Make a phone call to other relatives and classmates to see how they’re doing. Hearing their voices and exchanging stories about what they’ve been going through recently can help ease some of the anxiety caused by the pandemic. This is also a simple yet meaningful way to show how much you care.
We’re seeing a lot of businesses emerging online recently. Now is the time to show our support! Talk to your kids about small, local businesses, and try out the products with them. For your next afternoon snack, you can try ordering from a neighbor or friend who is selling pandesal or cinnamon rolls. Since it’s a lot safer to shop online these days, check out the local online stores which offer Filipino-made products for kids like toys, books, clothes, and so much more. This way, you can teach your kids the beauty of locally made products and how to pay it forward to the community by shopping local.
Another idea is to learn a new recipe so you can make some yummy dishes for your loved ones. Though we can’t be with the rest of our relatives and friends in person, we can still make our love and care known by baking some treats and having these delivered to their homes. Good food will surely put a smile on their faces.
Young kids might not fully understand the impact of this situation, so patiently explain to them why wearing a mask, staying home, and practicing social distancing is important. Let them know that by simply wearing a mask and staying home, they’re already protecting other people and not just themselves. Teach them the value of buying only what you need instead of hoarding supplies because everyone else needs food, drink, and other necessities, too.
Most importantly, being a role model for kindness is the best way to teach your kids. Let’s show them that in spite of what’s happening right now, we can help overcome any challenge with a bit of kindness.
- Nulsen, Charise Rohm. “5 Ways to Teach Kindness and Empathy to Kids While Social Distancing.” FamilyEducation, April 14, 2020
- “5 Acts of Kindness for Kids.” FamilyEducation
- Gillespie, Claire. “How parents can use coronavirus to teach kids about compassion.” MSN News