As a mama, the quality I most want to teach my children is kindness.
You see, teaching your child to be the smartest or the strongest or the something else ‘est’ will only take them so far.
But teaching them to be kind and generous and going out of their way to help others will matter literally in every aspect of their lives for as long as they live.
In fact, research shows that being kind even makes you happier. And what mama wouldn’t want their child to have a life full of happiness.
The awesome thing is, as parents, we have the opportunity to help our children to think through wrong-doing in a way that helps them grow and learn.
Even when they create ‘empathy blind spots’ where they decide that certain people’s feelings don’t “count” and therefore they feel justified in being mean to them.
We can help strengthen our child’s innate kindness.
How I hear you ask? Well, we can do this by:
- Modelling and talking about kindness to our children;
- Providing our children with opportunities to show kindness; and
- Creating opportunities to openly discuss feelings and teach them how to cope with these feelings in productive ways.
And lucky for us, we have one pretty powerful tool in our parenting arsenal to help us; children’s books about kindness.
WHY ARE CHILDREN’S BOOKS ABOUT KINDNESS SO POWERFUL?
When we snuggled up to our children and read a book with them, we are also creating a safe place for them to let go of their worries.
We are creating an opportunity for connection no matter what has happened throughout the day.
And when our child feels safe and connected it provides a chance to have real conversations with them. To openly discuss their feelings without it feeling as though we are lecturing them.
When we talk about their feelings, it creates an opportunity to discuss what the right and wrong thing is to do in situations. To be able to put themselves into someone’s shoes. To think about how they can act in kindness.
Reading children’s books about kindness and friendship also provides a range of different situations for us to talk about with our child in a fun and relatable way.
Situations that they might not yet have experienced but may one day soon, especially if they are starting school.
There are different characters, different storylines, even different pictures that we can use to talk through and enable our child to navigate their emotions and learn what it means to be kind.
And even better, books allow you to extend the conversation on kindness, empathy, and friendship by asking simple open-ended questions like:
- How can you be a good friend?
- Was the main character kind? What did they do that you showed you they were kind?
- What happened to make the character sad? What could the other character do to make them feel better?
- What are three things you can do to help someone at school tomorrow?
- How do you know if someone is upset or sad?
- Has anyone ever been unkind to you? How did it feel?
BEST PICTURE BOOKS ABOUT KINDNESS
This post contains affiliate links. See our full disclosure here
It is never early to start reading to your child and in this awesome list of picture books, you’ll find the perfect books to start inspiring kindness with your little one.
BOOKS TO INSPIRE YOUR CHILD TO BE AN ‘INCLUDER’
One of the best thing we can do as parents is to empower our children to act as “includers.”
To teach them to include and stand up for others who may be feeling left out.
These books are a fabulous way to create opportunities to discuss inclusion, especially for preschoolers and early grade schoolers who may experience exclusion and rational aggression for the first time as they start their schooling experience.
BOOKS ABOUT FRIENDSHIP AND LEARNING WHAT IT IS TO BE A GOOD FRIEND
No list of books that teach kindness would be complete without showing the value of friendship and what it means to be a good friend.
BOOKS ABOUT BEING HELPFUL AND KIND IN OUR EVERYDAY LIVES
Kindness shouldn’t just be shown to our family and friends, it is something that we can show to others in our small everyday moments.
Through reading children’s books, like the below list, you are able to open up the conversation of kindness and provide tangible examples to your children of how being helpful and showing kindness to others can be part of our daily lives.
KNOW ANOTHER MAMA THAT NEEDS TO READ THIS?
Then don’t forget to share on Facebook or Pin this to your motherhood related Pinterest boards!
It might be just what that mama needs to hear!