Happy Monday! Sit back, relax and enjoy all of the absolute beauty in Rachel Tomlinson’s book, Teaching Kids to Be Kind – A Guide to Raising Compassionate and Caring Children.
THIS is the book that all new parents and new teachers need. Yes, it is nice to know “what to expect when you’re expecting” and what size vegetable your little baby is at specific stages, but what about after those 9 months? I truly believe that all parents and teachers want to raise kind humans. This book is filled with practical strategies that can implemented or tried immediately.
I “met” Rachel through the world of instagram and she is a joy to follow. Her positivity and kindness are inspiring and I knew I had to read her book. This book includes not only the research behind kindness, but 365 ways to promote kindness at home and in schools.
I love that Ms. Tomlinson does not lecture in her book. She is very real about how there are days as parents where everything is a challenge and we feel like we have completely failed. She also weaves in the importance of our own self-care and self-kindness to allow us to be the best versions of ourselves that we can be. I felt like I was sitting with a friend having a conversation rather than being told what I am supposed to be doing. That realness and vulnerability she expresses, let me read the book with an open mind and willingness to try new strategies. In the beginning of the book she explains being kind vs. being nice. “Nice is about how other people see you, whereas kindness is about how you see yourself, including whether you are being to true to the values you hold. Kindness is about finding compassion and empathy for another person while also respecting your own needs and boundaries.” I can’t even stand how much I love that. (Round of applause, Rachel!)
I would be writing for days if I shared all of my favorite pieces of her book…there is a whole lot of highlighter in this book now and I love it. I feel this will be a book I often refer to as a reminder to myself as a parent and teacher. Since you and I don’t have days to stay here together, here are my top 5 favorite moments from her book. She broke her book into sections and I will pull from those key topics:
1. Modeling kindness: “…mostly your child will learn (about kindness) by how you treat them, others, and yourself.”
2. Language: “Kindness is not just about being nice to other people, but also extends to ourselves. Self-talk is the way you talk to yourself, or your inner voice. Positive and negative self-talk can be linked to a child’s schema or beliefs about themselves.”
3. Managing destructive feelings: “Anger is the emotion, it is perfectly normal, adaptive, and healthy, but aggression, on the other hand, is a way that some people choose to express their anger. Once you can differentiate between different feelings and put a name on them, it is easier to come up with strategies to help regulate emotions.”
4. Rewarding kindness: “…get them to acknowledge it (kindness) for themselves. This is powerful, because it means that your child won’t need to rely on someone (or something) external to validate that what they were doing is important, meaningful, and compassionate.”
5. Expanding your child’s circle of concern: “It’s important to talk to your children about those who are different than them in order to dispel myths and incorrect ideas…Being tolerant means that your child will see differences as something valuable, something to learn from, and it will help them reject stereotypes or discrimination, oppose prejudice, and discover common ground with other people.”
I can’t recommend this book enough. I hope you have a chance to read it and enjoy it as much as I have. I would love for you to show Rachel Tomlinson some love by following her on instagram, reading some of her articles, and/or exploring her website by using the links below.
Follow her on instagram at: https://www.instagram.com/towardwellbeing/
Read published articles at: https://www.baby-chick.com/author/rachel-tomlinson/
Visit her website at: https://www.towardwellbeing.com/
Wishing you a happy Monday and a week filled with kindness.