By Guest Blogger Amy E. Hughes

As parents we want our kids to be the best versions of themselves. We push them to succeed in school, sports, the arts, or whatever their interest may be. Sometimes in the daily rush of life, we forget, it’s also our job to help them to succeed at being kind. Learning to be kind can be just as much hard work as learning to be a great goalie. It takes practice!

Here are 15 simple ways we can teach our little ones to practice spreading the love….

1 – Push an elderly person’s buggy to their car and load the groceries for them. Engage them in conversation.

2 –  Pick up litter from your neighborhood while on a walk, your neighbors will thank you!

3 – Pick a day of the week and smile or say hello to everyone you pass, you never know, it could make their day!

4 – Make a baked good for your neighbor or an acquaintance that you haven’t had much contact with recently. Just because.

5 – Write friendly notes and hand them out to strangers! You will get the happiest reactions!

6 – Give a compliment to a stranger. Tell them you love their, outfit, shoes, tattoos, hair. Tell them they look nice today! (We as Moms should do this for each other all day, every day!!)

7 – Anonymously pay someone else’s tab for lunch, coffee, or in the drive through while out with your family.

8 – Pack an extra treat in your child’s lunch one day, and encourage them to share it with someone who has to eat school provided lunch. (Rice Krispy treats can definitely make a kids day!)

9 – Make bags for the homeless, let your child help you assemble them and hand them out. (Socks, deodorant, an apple and a pack of crackers)

10 – Tell someone if there shoes are untied, if there is something in their hair, or if they’ve dropped something. Don’t stand idly by!

11 – Wave to someone or give them a thumbs up. Why not?

12 – Buy a bundle of flowers or collect them from your garden and hand them out to the people who work at the grocery store, gas station, or kids at your child’s school. Wherever!

13 – Make a blanket for the homeless shelter. And easy and cheap way to do this is to use old shirts. (This will also teach your kids how to sew, an added bonus!)

14 – Go to a local nursing home and spend some time in the dayroom playing games and talking with the residents. Or make decorations for their doors or hallways.

15 – Compliment someone on what a great job they’re doing, and thank them! Especially our teachers!

Many of the ideas listed above come from volunteering at local nonprofits. If you are looking for places to donate your time and generosity, visit TMoM’s directory of Volunteering & Giving in the Triad HERE.

It’s important to talk to our kids about putting themselves in someone else’s shoes. You never know what is going on behind the scenes of someone’s life. Sometimes picking the grumpiest person you know to be kind to has the biggest impact.

None of us are perfect, and we don’t all have to be positive Polly’s all day every day. But going out of your way to set an example of kindness for your kids to follow, may be the most impactful thing you could ever do for them.

If you have any great ideas for being kind not listed here please leave in the comments below!!

For even more ideas, visit TMoM’s archived blog HERE about ways to display acts of kindness and caring!

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