Just because you're a kid doesn't mean you can't 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 your act of kindness is, the point is that you try to make someone's life a bit better in some way. The best thing you can do to make a difference is to 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! And when you're happy, others are happier because you are.
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. Notice how you feel when you see their reaction. I bet it feels good!
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. If your parents are busy, do a chore without being asked. You get the picture.
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.
Respect is waiting your turn, paying attention when your teacher is talking, not interrupting, keeping someone's secret when they confide in you, not gossiping, being appreciative for things that are done for you. When you show respect people like you a lot more and are more likely to want to do things for you or hang out with you.
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! Just by being nice to your brother or sister and helping out, you can make a big 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 and your parents will have more time to spend with YOU!
Once you're feeling more confident and enjoying being kind, it's time to take the next step to ramp it up.
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.
Make some kindness cards
We have some cute kindness cards which you can see below but it's a lot of fun to make your own. All you need is some paper or card, some pencils and scissors. Cut the card into smaller pieces and write "KINDNESS CARD" in big letters. You also want to ask people to give the card to someone else when they do an act of kindness. That way, when you give your cards out with your own acts of kindness, your good deeds will start to multiply!
Pass this card on with an act of kindness to remind others to be kind too!
You can draw a picture on it too if you want. Have a look at some of the cards other kids have made below.
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 or rude is funny. Would you cope with people being laughing and joking, calling out, picking on others, or refusing to do their work? Perhaps you can imagine why some teachers might yell to get kids to pay attention 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 you can do to make your classroom a happier place:
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!
Mean people are taking their anger or frustration out on someone else. They often behave badly because they need attention or are hurting inside. Many times, these kids have trouble doing their work or are not cared for properly at home and feel that no-one understands or cares for them. They are not 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.