Teach Your Kids Kindness During Anti-Bullying Month

October is National Anti-Bullying Month… Did you know that American Justice Department bullying statistics show that one out of every 4 kids will be bullied sometime throughout their adolescence? As someone who was bullied for years and years as a kid, that’s a really sad statistic to read. And, it’s one of those problems that sometimes feels overwhelming – You think, “Well what can I do about it? My kid isn’t a bully…” But bullying isn’t just about the really dramatic, in your face type of meanness that happens. It’s also about the small things – Whispering about a classmates new dress behind her back. Not picking the new kid to play a game at recess, even though he’s sitting alone. Those little acts add up. And with the negativity and nastiness in so  much of the media – from trashy reality stars, to the sometimes equally-trashy anchors on cable news shows – it’s more important than ever that we constantly strive to set good examples, and teach our kids compassion and kindness.

Free Hugs - Anti-Bullying Month

Teaching Compassion to your kids

Think about the way you had to learn not to use “bad words” when your toddler started learning to speak – they became little parrots, copying what you did, so you had to quickly learn to be careful to model good behavior for them. {Yes, my 2 year old said the F word the other day when she dropped her soda at McDonalds. No, I’m not perfect. Yes, the looks on the faces of the elderly couple who heard her say it with her hands on her hips was priceless….} Well, as our kids grow up, they continue to copy what we do. Which means if the kids hear you gossiping with your girlfriends over coffee about how someone has gained weight, or hear dad talk about how Joe at the office is so stupid that he hates having to work with him – they begin to see that as an ok way to talk about the kids at school too. I think that it’s so so so important that we start thinking about those small things that we say and do… If you wouldn’t want your kiddo to talk about someone that way, then that’s a good reminder for you to watch what you’re saying too, right? You’re own mom was right, “If you can’t say something nice…”

Little acts of kindness add up too

Just like those small put-downs can add up to really make people feel bad – the little random acts of kindness can add up too, and make a huge difference in someone’s life. Offering a hand when someone falls down on the playground, asking the new kid to sit with them at lunch, or sharing a smile with the shy girl in class are all small compassionate moments that your kiddo can use to totally change someone’s day. We can set these examples all day long too – Holding the door open for the lady behind you, giving up your seats to an elderly couple on the bus, or paying for a cup of coffee for the gentleman behind you in the morning. And… Want to know a really cool new way to show some kindness this winter? Send a #KleenexCares care pack to brighten someone’s day! Here’s how it works:

  1. Buy specially marked boxes of Kleenex tissue at your favorite stores.
  2. Find the special code located on the box.
  3. Enter your code on the Kleenex Softness Worth Sharing site, and send a sweet little care kit to someone who needs it.

That’s it, easy peasy! No catch, no crazy gimmicks – just a really nice way to do something kind for others, and a great example to show the kids. And to really get them into the whole giving back mindset, pick up a few of the specially marked packages. Then let your kids choose who to send them too. Is their teacher out sick? Or maybe a best friend, or even grandma or grandpa? Let them send the kit and see how great that feeling is, knowing that they’re brightened up someone’s day.

Inside the pack image

#KleenexCares about you!

Each kit contains a lip balm, a 1 oz. hand sanitizer, coupon booklet, Kleenex® Brand Share Pack, Kleenex® Brand Slim Pack, and a card redeemable to download four songs from up and coming Universal Music Artists. Learn more by following them on Facebook for new products and promotions, and to read more stories of sharing.

Let’s Chat: What do you think of this campaign? What other ways to teach your kids compassion? Leave some comment love!

{Disclaimer: I wrote this review while participating in an ambassador program by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of the Kleenex brand and received product samples and a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate. Photo Credit: jessleecuizon on Flickr.}

 

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