Using Film to Teach Kids Kindness
I think all kids have the same fears about a new school year… Will they like me? Will my friends be in my class or will it be all new kids? What if someone is mean to me? And let’s be honest.. it’s not just kids who have those fears… we adults have the same fears at the start of the school year or anytime we start something new.
I’m pretty lenient on our girls when it comes to their personalities and friends. For the most part, I let them choose who they want to hang out with and luckily, they’ve made pretty good choices so far. I rarely intervene when I hear their arguments or if they’re chatting with their friends about the constant on-goings at school but I draw the line at “mean.” My girls have heard me say more than a few times, “when you’re ever in doubt about how to react, always choose kindness.”
I don’t know if people are just super insecure and their wall of protection is meanness but holy cow are we a mean society these days. Whether it’s someone like Joan Rivers laying out the mean commentary on the red carpet (and then getting defensive when someone points that out to her) or it’s the kid in the 2nd grade class telling everyone who they can and can’t be friends with, we as adults need to not just teach our kids how to be kind, but practice what we preach.
Netflix has a great collection of movies you can stream to help show examples of people who were faced with meanness and overcame it. Who doesn’t love the movie Rudy? Was there ever a better example of when a group of people could have been mean but instead, built Rudy up to a level where he excelled? Some of the other options for your older kids (and you!) include:
They also have their own series, Derek, which I haven’t seen yet but will be checking out with the girls.
As our kids get older, they aren’t always as receptive to our lessons as they used to be. I will take any chance I can to subtly interject a life lesson and watching shows together quite often, presents a perfect opportunity for that.
Looking for a fun activity to generate some “pay it forward” ideas that kids can do? Check out this Kindness Punch Box you can make with the kids!
What shows have you found to be beneficial in teaching your kids about kindness or other traits?