Inside: A simple way to praise and “reward” kindness when you see it is to pass out a ” Caught Being Kind ” Cards.
Heh, you can’t treat her that way. She’s my friend. And you’re my friend. But I won’t let you talk to her that way. It’s not kind.
These are actual words I heard on a school playground, said by my daughter. My 6-year-old daughter.
Holy cow, I threw a party.
I stopped what I was doing and stared at her in awe. Then I praised her for standing up for her friend. For speaking up. For demanding kindness from those around her.
Because it’s one thing to be kind and help a friend carry something, or share school supplies, or give a compliment.
But it’s a whole other level of kindness when our kids stand up to a friend for another friend.
And we need to take notice of those moments and show children we value their moments of kindness…both the big acts of kindness like my daughter standing up to a friend and the small, every day, quiet acts of kindness.
Because if we want to raise kind kids, or create a classroom full of kind kids, we need to encourage kindness when we see it. And we need to “catch” kids being kind to one another.
Related: How to Foster Kindness in Your Classroom and at School
One simple way we can celebrate kids’ small, everyday, normal acts of kindness is to award them “Caught Being Kind” cards.
Why do we need to Catch Kids Being Kind:
Caught Being Kind cards are a small token to show our kids we saw their behavior and paused long enough to recognize their kindness. When we pass these out, we show kids that we appreciate and value their acts of kindness.
And when kids are praised and rewarded with positive reinforcement, such as simple paper cards, they will intrinsically want to be kind more often since kids will repeat actions that have positive consequences.
And when kindness is repeated over and over again, children’s kind actions will help them realize that being kind and spreading kindness feels good. It really, truly makes us feel good.
It not only improves the day of the person they were kind to, but also improves their own day. Because it will increase their happiness.
Feeling more happiness and feeling better about themselves will lead kids to be intrinsically motivated to want to be kind more often. And that’s the end goal: teaching and raising kids who want to be kind to the people around them. Who want to make the world a kinder place. And who want to spread their kindness far and wide.
How to use the Caught Being Kind Cards:
1. Scroll to the bottom and click the “Download here” button to get these Caught Being Kind Cards:
2. Print out the Caught Being Kind Cards either in color or black and white to save ink.
3. Copy the cards onto white cardstock or colored paper.
4. Cut out the cards and keep them handy.
5. Be on the lookout for kind kids, kind behaviors, and kind words around you.
6. Praise the kiddos for their kind actions by giving them a Caught Being Kind Card!
7. On the backs of the cards, they can draw or write what they did that was kind.
Then they can either keep the cards or you can pin them up to showcase how often they’ve been kind to the people around them.
And if you have the Kindness Elves, you can have the elves deliver the cards to the kind kiddo.
Ready to grab these Caught Being Kind cards for your kids or students and start “catching” them being kind?
Then you can stop, stare at your student or child in awe, and throw a party too.