Kindness really shines through in the most difficult of situations. All too often, we freeze up or turn away when we’re most needed.
Thankfully, we can help our kids prepare for those situations by talking about them or role-playing before they ever happen. Discussing these situations also helps kids build emotional intelligence and practice empathy for others.
For younger kids, you can talk through a scenario where someone acts unfair or unkind. Some scenarios could include seeing one kid push another, grabbing a toy from another kid, or calling someone a name. Small children have a very strong sense of fairness, starting even before they’re a year old and peaking in third grade. While little kids frequently do things to us that seem unfair, they only do that because they lack the big picture thinking to realize it (it seems fair to them!) or they lack the self-control to stop themselves (haven’t we all had those days?). If you ask them to imagine it happening to them and what they would want someone to do, they can gain that perspective more easily than we realize.
For older kids, you can tackle pricklier situations. These can include:
- What do you do if you hear a friend using a racial slur or making a racist joke?
- What do you do if you see someone inappropriately touch someone else against their will?
- What would you do if one of your friends is being bullied?
Be sure to listen more than you talk. Also, feel free to admit that you don’t know all of the answers! Even the conversations with little kids can be challenging.