Working Parent Parenting & Child Care by Stage Child Development Education Family Health Family Life In the News

#BH5MinFix: 6 Small Ways to Teach Kids to Be Kind

#BH5MinFix: 6 Small Ways to Teach Kids to Be Kind

Our #BH5MinFix series is all about sharing tips and tricks for common parenting scenarios and sources of stress. Every week we choose a topic and invite you to share your tips on Bright Horizons’ social channels, and we share our advice as well. This week’s topic: easy ways to teach children to be kind.

The benefits of kindness for everyone involved are endless, among them: less stress, better relationships, fewer squabbles, stronger relationships, and more smiles.

As Jamie commented on our Facebook page, the perfect way for us to teach kindness is through our own actions. As we do so, we have the opportunity to show our kids that kindness doesn’t have to mean making grand gestures, spending a lot of time, or even any money; it happens through the small interactions we have with each other every day.


Smile. As author William Arthur Ward said, “A warm smile is the universal language of kindness.” By seeing you smile at other people (whether it’s your spouse or a next-door neighbor you happen to see while getting your mail), children can learn that a smile can be a powerful way to spread kindness.

Perform your own acts of kindness. When you’re paying for your gas, ask the clerk how their day is going or let someone with fewer items go ahead of you in the grocery store check-out line. You might not think that your child picks up on this type of behavior but they do.

“Teach children how to share.” Helice shared this piece of advice with us on Facebook and we couldn’t agree more. Reading friendship-themed books such as Should I Share My Ice Cream? can be helpful in teaching children how to be generous.

Talk about ways to help friends: If your child’s friend or classmate is having a hard time, ask your child for ways she thinks she might be able to help. This can be a very useful way to teach them how to build meaningful friendships. You might ask, “How do you think Sam feels?” “What do you think you can do to help?”

Validate positive behaviors: When you see your child treat someone with kindness or care, express your appreciation. Say, “I noticed how patient you were when Kate was feeling frustrated. I think that really made her feel better.”

Celebrate the helpers. When you hear about someone doing a kind deed for other people, share the story with your child, recommends It will get them thinking about the acts of service they could do themselves.

How about you? We’d love to hear your tips on how you teach your child to be kind. Share what’s worked for your family in a comment below.

We also invite you to check out some of the other topics we’ve covered in #BH5MinFix including Ways to De-stress Your Family’s Morning Routine, and Tips to Help Kids Fall Asleep Fast.

Related Resources:



  1. Sheryl Rose February 1, 2016 at 8:19 pm

    These are wonderful tips and I will pass them on with a smile 🙂

    • Profile photo of

      Lindsay February 2, 2016 at 9:46 am

      Hi Sheryl, Thank you! I’m glad you liked them!

  2. Profile photo of Marko @

    Marko @ April 20, 2017 at 5:12 am

    When a new neighbour moved in across the street with 3 kids, I immediately planned a bit of time with my daycare children to bake some nut free cookies to drop over to our new friends and introduce ourselves. I can’t begin to tell you how excited and proud my little ones were and the appreciation from our new neighbour just had my kids beaming from ear to ear. Such a small gesture created a huge impact for me, my kids and the beginning of new and long lasting friendships. My kids were asking when we could do a batch for the older neighbour up the street.

Please Log In to Comment