Over the next 5 weeks we’re sharing simple ways to boost wellbeing in children. We hope parents, grandparents, carers, teachers – and anyone else who cares for children and young people – will find them useful.
Kindness is a win-win for wellbeing. The research shows us that when we’re kind to others, we not only boost each recipient’s wellbeing; it tends to have the same effect on our own sense of wellness too. Being kind can help us connect with others, and our relationships play a crucial role in our mental health and wellbeing in the long term.
There are hundreds of ways children and adults can show kindness – every day. And it can be fun to sometimes turn these acts into larger events, to really emphasise their importance and value.
1) Wear a “kindness cape”
Younger children often love pretending to be superheroes, from SpiderMan to WonderWoman. So they’re also likely to enjoy wearing an imaginary ‘kindness cape’ and working with adults and peers to do superhero acts of kindness. These could be at school, at home or in the community. You can use these opportunities to talk about why it’s important to be kind – to others and to ourselves.
2) Give something
Encourage children to consider donating toys or clothes they’ve outgrown to a charity shop. Involve them in the process, right from choosing what to give through to taking it to the shop. Talk to them about how they’re helping others due to the charity’s work, and helping the planet by recycling rather than adding to landfill.
3) Start fundraising and volunteering
For older children, connecting kindness to something they’re passionate about can be a great way to get them involved with their community and boost their wellbeing. They can do this through organisations like Step Up To Serve (#iwill), which aim to get young people involved in social action opportunities in the community.
We’d love to hear how you’ve found to boost kindness in children and young people – whether through superhero acts of kindness, charitable donations, or community service. Share your stories, or simply connect with us, on our Facebook page.