Season of Kindness Brings Lessons of Empathy to Life at Childtime
‘Tis the Season of Kindness! Childtime and our sister schools nationwide, students are experiencing the valuable lessons of empathy and generosity. Our beloved holiday custom teaches children about giving back, paying it forward and sharing joy.
From participating in food, coat and toy drives, to visiting “grandmas and grandpas” at senior centers, to sending letters and care packages for soldiers overseas, our children are learning they can have a positive influence on the world around them. Teachers are engaging children in opportunities to develop an understanding of empathy and compassion through teachable moments and by acknowledging good deeds. Children learn that kindness can include something as simple as giving a hug, lending a helping hand or sharing a toy with a friend.
While the spirit of giving comes into particularly sharp focus during the holiday season, opportunities for community outreach draw heartfelt support from staff, students and school parents alike throughout the year.
“Integrating character development in the classroom in ways that are meaningful to children helps them better understand and learn positive values,” said Dr. Susan Canizares, Chief Academic Officer. “When we help children grasp the idea of empathy and consider the experiences, feelings and ideas of another person, we help them to be more sensitive to the importance of kindness and generosity.”
Celebrating Kindness with Your Child
Here are a few ways to encourage your child’s empathy and kindness this holiday season – and all year:
- Let your child help – Clearing the table after dinner, sorting the laundry or feeding the dog will create a sense of accomplishment and usefulness.
- Discuss emotions and feelings – Acknowledge your children’s feelings and help them try to explain how they feel. Teaching children to recognize emotions in themselves and others will help them develop empathy.
- Random acts of kindness – Engage in small intentional good deeds as a family. Teach your child about helping the sick, donating, volunteering, being a good friend. Ask your child, “How can we show them that we care?”
- Cherish the elderly – Visit a retirement home together. Help a neighboring “grandma or grandpa” with grocery shopping or yard chores.
Make a gift or card for someone special together – Show your child that his creativity can spread happiness.