Two Practices to Instill Kindness

Don’t you love it when you see your child do something incredibly kind (unprompted)? Character education was one of my favorite things to weave into our school day. Teachers and parents love to focus on academic achievement, but we have to remember that our ultimate goal is to develop respectful, responsible, and kind adults.

Here are two of my favorite ways to do that…

1. Bucket Filler

This always worked so well. Bucket Fillers are people who do and say nice things to others. These behaviors fill the imaginary bucket of others with joy and happiness. With Bucket Fillers also comes Bucket Dippers. Bucket Dippers do and say hurtful things that takes the happiness and joy out of people’s imaginary buckets.

I know. It’s cheesy. But kids eat it up!

I love the bucket filler philosophy for a few reasons. They have fantastic books that teach the filler and dipper behaviors. They are easy to understand and they have lovely illustrations. You can pull out one of the books anytime your child needs a refresher.

It’s also great because the language is very easy to use throughout the day. “You’re dipping my bucket right now. You could fill my bucket by keeping your food on your plate.”

I love that the books focus on how filling other people’s buckets fills your own bucket! What a nice message!

You can also find many cute crafts to go along with the books!

2. Peacemaker vs. Peacebreaker

Every school year, along with the Bucket Filler concept, I would introduce peacemakers vs. peacebreakers. It’s a very similar concept and is simply another way to learn about respect and kindness. I would use the book No, David! to very clearly illustrate what peacebreakers do and then we would illustrate what peacemakers would do instead.

Of course there are many charts you can use to talk about the differences and there are crafts and activities as well!

I have always found these two practices to be very effective in my classroom. What other strategies do you use to foster compassion in your child? Let me know in the comments! I will talk to you soon for the Friday Five!


Two Practices to Instill Kindness

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An education blog created by Kim. A former elementary school teacher turned stay-at-home mom. Useful tips and tricks from a teacher to parents.

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