Be kind whenever possible.
It is always possible.
– Dalai Lama
We all want to help our grandchildren to grow up to be truly caring, kind people who think of others. It can make us cringe when a grandchild acts like they are the center of the universe and can’t see the needs of anyone else. And I am embarrassed to say that I can often act like a 5 year old myself.
There are ways you can begin right now to help your grandkids develop empathy for others.
Putting yourself in someone else’s shoes is a crucial building block for developing other caring emotions. It’s how we develop gratitude, hope, and compassion — which is the ability to act on your empathy,
explains Christine Carter, Ph.D., a sociologist at the Greater Good Science Center at the University of California.
I love the idea of doing random acts of kindness … good deeds unplanned but looked for. The opportunities can be found EVERYWHERE … you just have to see a need and use a little imagination. And what better way for a grandchild to do good than to team up with a gung ho grandma (just like Batman and Robin) and go out and make someone’s day a little brighter! I think I am going to call ourselves Kindness Ninjas.
Becoming a Random Acts of Kindness Ninja
I recently watched a video by Kristina Kuzmic (I LOVE her “Mom truth bomb” videos ) and she talked about how she goes on one-on-one dates with her children to look for 3 random acts of kindness they can do together.
You NEED to watch Kristina’s video … click HERE to watch her great video about doing random acts of kindness with children that will make you want to jump in your car and go on a service adventure with a grandchild!
You can create a similar experience with a grandchild to the one in the video … and both of you will come away discovering the power of reaching out to others.
You can also do acts of kindeness that are NOT random, but planned. Enjoy doing kind things together for …
- family members
and at places like …
- old folks homes
- homeless shelters
- your church
Some ideas to enhance your experience as Random Acts of Kindness Ninjas:
- Come up with a cool name together for your kindness daring duo (or gang if you have more than one grandchild). Like I said, I think I will call us the Kindness Ninjas.
- Make sure you have a discussion afterwards about how doing random acts of kindess makes your grandchild feel. Explain that good feeling can be recreated by doing more acts of kindness!
- Brainstorm how your grandchild can look for these kinds of experiences daily on their own. I love the quote …
We need to care less about whether our children are academically gifted and more about whether they sit with the lonely kid in the cafeteria.
- When you are talking to them in person or on the phone, ask what experiences they have had doing kind things for others lately. There are 48 suggestions for service found in my post A Christmas Service Advent Calendar for Grandchildren … you can read it HERE.
- Keep a grandma/grandchild journal of the service acts you do togetherr and your experiences, complete with selfie photos.
- If you want to find other ways to help encourage your grandchild to be more kind to others, read my post called 8 Ways to Encourage a More Grateful Grandchild, you can read it HERE.
So gung ho grandma, have fun jumping into your car with your grandchild and changing the world, one kind deed at a time!
Share your ideas for teaching your grandkids to be kind, or share your experiences in the comments below. We would love to hear them!