Your children will learn to be kind and generous by doing these small acts of kindness.

Thinkers from Martin Luther King Jr. to the Dalai Lama have all weighed in on the value of assisting others. “Life’s most persistent question is ‘What are you doing for others?'” said the civil-rights icon. Doing nice deeds was the spiritual leader’s “primary purpose.” And my 12-year-old daughter phrased it this way: Helping others and yourself both feels good.

Those are some slick words. It turns out that kindness and consideration are ingrained in children’s brains from an early age. It is natural to want to aid others. And as they mature, they have a deeper appreciation for the importance of doing good. Children enjoy helping others at first because it allows them to achieve their own goals. They also do so because they receive appreciation. As a result, they begin to anticipate the needs of others, and doing good things for those in their lives becomes organically fulfilling for them.

Children are eager to lend a hand. Parents must help cultivate and develop their children’s natural predisposition to help others so that it becomes an ingrained habit. It’s critical that you serve as a positive role model for your children. There are numerous ways you might help your child’s helping gene.

Could you make it a family affair to lend a hand?

Adults know what to do when a buddy is sick, or a local family has financial difficulties. Florals, casseroles, and a collection plate at church are some of the ways they show their support. 

Do these projects with your kids. Inquire about their interests and see whether they’d be interested in arranging the bouquet, layering the lasagna noodles, or collecting cans of food for the event. Take your kids along when you distribute the gifts. They’ll experience the joy of making someone’s day better for the first time. You may also use this as an opportunity to discuss the concept of “good karma” by asking them about a time when someone did something nice for them and how they felt about it.

Share what you have.

Please encourage your children to see the abundance around them and think about others who could benefit from it. Snip a few blossoms from your rose bush and have your child bring them to school to share with her classmates. Is his bookcase overflowing? I’d recommend he donate a box to a local library or family shelter to get him started. Give an older neighbor some of your leftover soup or cinnamon rolls in a container.

Respect for the environment should be taught from an early age.

Do not litter. Make it a point to pick up anything that accidentally falls to the ground. Also, never leave anything on a park bench, be it an old newspaper or a coffee cup. It’s satisfying to clean up after yourself after making a mess you didn’t cause.

Recycle.

How about a double dose of nice deeds? Collect and deliver empty cans and bottles to a recycling center that will pay you for them, and then place the money you earn in a contribution bucket at the grocery store checkout.

Do small deeds of compassion for others.

Ask your buddy if there is anything you can do to aid her and her family. My acquaintance told me that the mother of one of her daughter’s friends prepared sandwiches for her little girl when she needed a helping hand. This small act of kindness allowed my friend to eliminate one of her daily responsibilities. She also made sure her daughter had some new and delicious lunchbox snacks. 

Offer to pick up a friend’s kids from school while you get your own so that she doesn’t have as many things to do. Make sure to ask her if she needs anything before you go shopping. Then let your children choose a pleasant surprise for your friend and her family. ‘ This will serve as a positive role model for your children and allow your friend and her family to share a sweet treat.

Make someone’s life a little easier.

You can make sure your kid is ready for the mailman before they have to climb your steps or walk up to your driveway by letting them meet him on the street. Help a fellow customer in the grocery store carry her things to the car. Make room in the grocery store queue for someone with smaller possessions.

Cheer up a stranger (or a friend).

Toss your neighbor’s newspaper on her porch if you see it getting soaked by the sprinklers. After a few days away, ask the bus driver how he feels when he returns. Is a friend downcast? 

Could you give her a good smothering? As a parent, it’s important to encourage your children to develop empathy and a desire to help those in need in their community.

Gratitude is a good thing to do.

Thank the pizza delivery person for his service and say “good morning” to a neighbor. An appreciation or expression of thanks may be all it takes to bring a person’s spirits up.