While we were all still reeling from the tragic shootings in Aurora, Colorado and Newtown, Connecticut, along came another shooting tragedy right in our own comfort-zone community of Taft. In wondering why this would happen in such a small, tight-knit community, we need to keep in mind that town size and geographic location have nothing to do with the behavior of an individual who is mentally disturbed enough to commit an act of violence. But there is a solution to these horrific acts, and that is making our own proactive choice to commit acts of kindness. There are those who do not consider this to be an adequate approach to solving tragic occurrences, but it is one of the best approaches to diverting our attention from the negative events in our lives to a healthier focus on the positive. With this approach, even the worst of experiences can be altered by an intense effort to treat others with acts of kindness that improve the quality of their lives and our own.

Below is a list of things you can do as a parent to encourage your children to participate in creating and being involved with acts of kindness. This is not an all-inclusive list, but merely indicates examples of what you and your children might do to improve your family and community outlook. If you are interested in sharing your experiences with others around the nation, please send a description of your kindness acts to Kindness@Earthlink.Net and we will post them on our website, KindnessUSA.Org. Remember, we can’t wait for someone else to solve our problems. We must actively get involved and change our society’s tendency to commit acts of violence by committing our own random acts of kindness.

Here are some activities from my book, Kindness: Changing Our World, which you and your children can participate in:
  • Sign up to be a buddy or hugger for the Special Olympics at your school

  • If you see a dog or cat that seems lost, with your mom or dad ask neighbors if they know who the animal belongs to so the dog or cat can get home safely

  • Make a large poster that looks like a heart and have classmates write acts of kindness stories to be pinned to the heart  

  • When you attend an after school activity, offer to help clean-up after the event

  • If you carry your lunch to school, offer to share your favorite items with a friend who has forgotten his or her lunch money  

  • Remember to tell your best friend how much you like him or her

  • Offer to help your teacher with a special project he or she is working on

  • Make friends with another student who doesn’t have any friends, or seems to be having a bad day

  • Whenever possible, read to your younger brother or sister; let them know how much you enjoy reading to them  

  • Give the kids in your classroom a “thank you” card just because you want to

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Tags: Education, Featured Story, Parenting

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