In my opinion, the options can be endless, but here are a few of my favorite ways to instill that kindness in them and have them pass that kindness on to others.
- Lead by example. It starts with you, right? How can you teach your children, if you aren’t walking the walk? Show them how to be kind, show them how to spread that joy to others and follow your own words of advice.
- Teach them to tip for good work. Educate your children that leaving a tip for a job well down is an awesome way to pay it forward. Have an awesome server at dinner? As a family, talk about the amount of tip that should be left. Walk through the process with them so they fully understand and appreciate it, then leave the agreed amount!
- Extra toys lying around the house? Have your children round-up a few that they feel that they could do without, or don’t need anymore, and let them choose where they would like to donate those items. Passing those still usable toys on to other children is an amazing way for your child to pay it forward!
- Trust them and listen to them about how they want to be kind to others. Do your kids think outside the box and have a unique way that they want to say “thank you” to someone? Support that thought! What a fun and unique experience to try something new together!
- Say it with a smile. Nothing shows kindness quicker than a smile to someone…anyone. Instill that ability in your child to be able to make eye contact with someone, and smile. Sometimes, paying it forward doesn’t even require any words.
- Respect those who work hard for our safety. All children know what a policeman and firefighter or military personnel look like in uniform, right? Teach them to show them thanks by verbally thanking them for their service. It gives your child the ability to truly thank someone and show their appreciation for the protection that they provide all of us each and every day.
- Create food bags to donate to a local shelter. How blessed are we that we have food on our table and in our belly daily? What about those who don’t have that? Have your children create food bags to take to the local shelter to leave or hand out to those in need. Let them get creative and buy the food items that they want to share with others!
- Donate money to those in need. Let those kid creative juices start flowing on ways to earn money to give to others. Does your child want to hold a bake sale to then donate proceeds to a local charity? Perfect! Get starting on making those cupcakes! Be a helper to them and show them that you support them, 100%!
- Remember your manners! A simple gesture goes a long way in paying it forward. Holding open a door for someone else, giving up your seat in a crowded room….easy to do, and super easy for any kid to do as well! Manners can be a super simple way to pay it forward!
- Leave an anonymous note from the heart. Do you have a little one that likes to write? Have them write a nice letter to someone, complimenting them or something about them that makes them shine. Everyone loves to receive a random piece of mail to brighten their day!
Paying it forward to others can be simple and easy. Break down the barrier in thinking that an act of kindness has to be monumental and huge. Teach your child that paying it forward, no matter the size, is an incredible and selfless gift and is an act that can be done each and every day.