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Modeling Kindness IS Teaching Kindness 

"A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees."
- Amelia Earhart

Individual acts of kindness are powerful. Think about where your understanding of kindness came from. Whose modeling of kindness shaped your understanding? 

Every moment of every day provides us with opportunities to act with kindness. To be kind to yourself, family, friends, strangers, animals, our planet, and the list goes on. 

When youth are observing, they are learning. Children and teens see our actions and they hear how we reflect on them later. Our actions, or lack of, are a model for the youth around us, whether we realize it or not. Kids are influenced by “how we… take care of ourselves, apologize and repair, handle mistakes, navigate conflict, approach differences, care for our environment, and listen” (@MomBrain.Therapist on Instagram).

Let’s be honest, it can be challenging to be a model of kindness all the time, especially in a world that is not always kind to us. Expressing kindness is often an intentional choice. The difficulties we face when acting with kindness are worth discussing with kids because they will likely face these too. 

Kindness is teachable and teaching kindness to children is one way to set them up for a life of fulfillment (The Science of Kindness). The organization Random Acts of Kindness has free resources for people of all ages that can be used for teaching, encouraging, and acting with kindness in the classroom, at home, and even in the workplace. 

Payton Smith