Written by Britta Alton
Make People Feel Welcome:
You might explain it like this- If people were houses, then kindness would be the welcome mat. The kindness of a smile or a wave is the first thing someone notices about you, and it gives a good idea of what to expect from you in the future. Talk with your child about all the places they go where they may meet someone who needs to feel welcome. It may be a new kid in class at school who needs someone to simply say “hi” and begin a conversation. It may be someone going into the same restaurant who needs a smile while the door is held open for them. Or it could be as simple as making room for someone to sit beside you at an event. These types of little things instantly send a message that says ‘you matter’. It’s a big accomplishment for such a little effort.
Be a Peacemaker:
Proverbs 15:1 says “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” You might try asking your child to think of times they’ve seen either of these things take place. Surely they’ve watched as kind and gentle words calmed someone who was really upset. And certainly they’ve seen someone’s mood change swiftly to anger because someone spoke in a harsh and unkind manner to them. The more you talk about the influence kind words and a kind tone have on others, the more primed your child will be to use them. The kindness of being considerate and gentle with others is like a super power for making peace.
Reflect a Loving God:
Sometimes, seeing an act of kindness is all it takes for people to see God in the world around them. Talk with your child about how easy it is to show others God’s love through their own acts of kindness. When we do kind things, it is like we are a mirror catching and sending back out the love of God. A bright flash of light that others can see. Kindness looks on people with warmth and affection. It shows generosity and concern. Isn’t that a picture of how God looks on this vast and beautiful creation as well?
BRITTA ALTON has spent over two decades advocating for and ministering to families and children through vocation and volunteerism. She loves finding ways to build strong character in children of all ages, with her two wonderful boys being her most vital effort. She and her husband Kevin wrote Don’t Forget to Flush! A Bathroom Devotional for Kids. You can find her online most places as @happybritta. They all live happily in the countryside near Chattanooga, TN.