How You Can Make a Difference

Making a difference doesn't mean doing something that's going to change the world. You can easily do things that make a difference to yourself, your family and friends, your community and even a stranger (ask permission from an adult before approaching someone you don't know). 

It doesn't matter how big or small it is, the point is that you're making an effort to make someone's life a little better and create happiness. The best thing you can do to make a difference is be kind, because when you show kindness, it not only makes the people around you happy but it fills you with a powerful hormone that makes you feel happy too! Your happiness makes other people happy too.

So, if you're ready to spread some happiness, read on...

When you're first getting started, you'll want to do something small.

Smile at people
Your first act of kindness might be something as simple as smiling at everyone you see. Even a simple thing like that can make a difference to how people feel. Pay attention to the people around you when you do it and see how they react. I bet you'll get lots of smiles in return. Pay attention to how you feel when you see their reaction. I bet it feels good!

Be helpful
Another easy thing to do is to help when you see someone is in need. If you see someone struggling to open a door because their arms are full, you could hold it open for them. If someone drops something, pick it up for them. You get the picture. 

Be considerate
Being considerate means imagining how you'd feel in a similar situation and helping out the way you hope someone would help you. For example, if you see your teacher has been working all day and looks tired, perhaps you could do a job for them so they can take a break. If you see someone is upset, ask if they're okay and if you can help or just sit beside them so they're not alone. 

Help out at home
Most parents are really busy people and it might seem like they don’t have much time to spend with you. The problem parents have is that there's always so much to be done around the house, and it's not that they don't want to spend time with you, but by the time they finish everything, it's probably time for you to go to bed.

So, here's how you can help fix that and make your family really happy at the same time! Simply being nice to your brother or sister and helping out where you can is something that will make the world of difference to the people in your family. The more you're able to help... like doing your set chores, picking up your clothes, helping with the dishes, hanging the laundry, feeding pets... the less time your parents have to spend doing it. And if you just do these things without your parents having to ask, they'll be really happy AND won't yell at you to do your chores. And here's the really great thing... your home will become a really nice, calm place to be!

Once you're feeling more confident and enjoying being kind, it's time to take the next step to ramp it up. 

Kindness checklist
A checklist means you have a whole lot of ideas ready to go and it can be a lot of fun ticking them off as you do them. 

You can download our ready-made list or make your own. Include things you think would be fun to do or you'd like someone to do for you.  

Get some Ripple Kindness Cards
Get some of our FREE Kindness Cards and start spreading some happiness. The idea is to do something nice for someone and give them a Kindness Card to remind them to do something nice for someone else and then they'll pass on the card with their act of kindness. Before you know it, you've created your own ripple of kindness! ​CLICK HERE for some things others have done with their cards.

Teachers are a bit like parents. They have a lot to do and heaps of kids to look after. Imagine what a big job it would be to make sure your 20 - 30 kids all have what they need, understand the work and are happy! Now imagine you have some kids that think being disruptive is funny. Would you cope with people being rude, laughing and joking, calling out, picking on others, and refusing to do their work? Perhaps you can imagine why some teachers might have to yell or are sometimes a bit grumpy!

What we talked about before with your parents, applies at school too. If you want your teacher and friends to be happy and kind, then you can help make that happen. Making it easier for everyone in your classroom, makes your life easier and happier too!

Here are some things that help make your classroom a happier place to be:

little-star always listen and do what is asked  little-star if other children are talking, remind them to pay attention  little-star always do your best little-star be helpful to your teacher  little-star help tidy the classroom  little-star run errands for your teacher  little-star be on time to class  little-star hand in all your homework  little-star show respect by putting your hand up and waiting your turn  little-star be kind to and considerate of your classmates  little-star clear your table  little-star help someone who's having trouble  little-star don't talk behind someone's back

I'm sure you've seen someone who's been left out, picked on or bullied, or perhaps you've felt it yourself.

It's never nice when others gang up or call people names. Kids who are mean can think they're pretty cool, but IT'S NOT COOL AND IT'S NOT FAIR!

What they're really doing is taking their anger or frustration out on someone else. Mean kids often behave badly because they need attention or are hurting inside. Many times these kids have trouble understanding their school work or aren't cared for properly at home and feel that no-one understands or cares for them. They aren't happy and feel bad about themselves, and think that making someone else feel bad too is going to make them feel better, but the truth is that it doesn't!

How does being kind help when people are being mean?
When you're a kind person, you usually have a full bucket which means you are happy.
In other words you feel good about yourself because being kind to others makes you feel great. So the nicer and more helpful you are, the better you make others feel and the more they'll like you.

When you feel this good about yourself, it's much easier to ignore the silly things other people do and not take them to heart or let them make you feel bad. Always remember if someone's being mean to you, don't take it personally. Often kids act like this because they're unhappy or jealous, and secretly wish they were like the person they are being mean to. So the next time someone's mean, remember that they may not be in a good place like you and cut them some slack. Be nice even when they're being mean. 

All of that said, it's important to remember if someone is hurting you with their words or actions, you should talk to your teacher. Your teacher can support you and get some help for the person who's unhappy.  

Here are some things that help make your playground a happier place to be:

little-star help someone if they've hurt themselves  little-star return a ball if it comes your way  little-star open the door for someone  little-star talk to people you normally wouldn't  little-star pick up rubbish that's lying around  little-star smile at people  little-star include people in your game  little-star  if someone's sad, listen or try to cheer them up  little-star help someone make new friends  little-star be nice to people who are new  little-star share your things  little-star talk to someone who looks lonely  little-star stick up for people who are being picked on  little-star give a compliment  little-star share your lunch with someone who has nothing to eat