Teaching kids kindness

It’s a sad fact that many kids are bullied, and especially those who are different.

I really liked these classroom strategies to teach children kindness, and I’m sure they could be used in many other places as well.

The first one is called Erasing Meanness, and videos over a couple of days about bullying, the teacher filled the whiteboard with synonyms of meanness.  She then erased a few words to ask “How do you want to be remembered?”, and invited the children to replace some of the mean words with kind words of their choosing.

The second is to create an ongoing paper chain of kindness– write down the kind things that they had done or experienced that day, and add them to the chain.

Buddy Bench

This lovely idea is a great way to minimise bullying and increase inclusion.  A young boy, having seen a similar idea at a school overseas, raised it with his principal and school board, who agreed to implement it.  Kids who feel lonely at recess can sit on this bench, and be invited to play or walk with others.  The website has several different strategies with which the benches can be used- Christian’s Buddy Bench.