Kids, this one’s for you. And if you can’t read yet, hopefully your parents will read this to you.
I work with kids like you every day. It’s fun, and I really like it. But sometimes one or two of you forget how to be a nice kid, and that can make it not so fun.
I’m not talking about when you’re being rowdy or noisy, or when you’re finding it difficult to listen, or when you wont leave me alone because you’re JUST SO EXCITED!!
I’m talking about the other things, the really important things that make other children want to play with you, and make grown ups enjoy being around you.
I’ve made a list to help you remember.
Being kind means caring enough about others to make sure that everyone feels important. You definitely deserve a chance to go first, or to tell me a story, or to be the one to choose a game.. But the thing is, so does everyone else. I know sometimes that feels difficult, but you need to understand that when you get to go first or choose first, it means that someone else has to be second or third or last. You know how great it feels to go first. If you let someone else go first, what you’re actually doing is helping them get that ‘going first’ feeling that you like so much. What a great thing to do for them!
When someone does something good, say ‘well done’. When they’re feeling sad, ask them if they’re okay, and maybe give them a hug. If you hurt them by accident, say ‘I’m sorry’, and stop to check if they’re alright. To get really good at this caring thing, you could try to understand how the other person is feeling, and think to yourself, ‘If I was him, what would I want someone else to do or say right now?’ That’s a very special and important skill called empathy, and all the best people have it, so it’s really worthwhile trying to learn it at your age!
Use nice language.
The words you use can make people feel all sorts of things. Like if I said to you ‘You’re bad at skipping’, it would make you feel bad and you wouldn’t want to practice skipping anymore. But if I said, ‘Well done for trying so hard to skip! If you keep practicing, in a few weeks you’ll be skipping like a champion’, you’d probably practice every day and feel great about it. Try saying things in ways that build people up, like ‘well done with your skipping’ when you’ve skipped better than someone, instead of ‘I skipped for longer than you’. Building people up with your words will make you feel great about yourself.
And while we’re talking about nice language…
Say hello, goodbye, please and thank you. I’m sure your parents have taught you this already. Remembering to use them makes grown ups really happy!
Bonus points: Be helpful!
It means a lot to grown ups when you’re helpful. You might be smaller than us but you can still carry things, or pack things away, or help keep things neat. Every adult I know LOVES it when children are helpful, especially if they don’t have to ask you. Just try it and see what happens.
I know that some of these things are difficult to remember, especially if you’re still in pre-school. But just like when we say at Fit Kids that you need to build your skipping muscles, or your listening muscles or push up muscles, you also have to build your ‘being a nice kid’ muscles. And if you do Fit Kids, your coach will definitely help you with that!
So now that you know how to be a nice kid, I have a little job for you. Go out there and teach your friends how to be nice too. You won’t believe how great you’ll feel about yourself when you teach someone else how to be kind and caring.