Disclaimer: Devoted Grandma is reader-supported. If you purchase anything through my site, I may receive a small commission (at no cost to you). Thank you.
Is it just me, or do people today seem less kind than they used to be? While there have always been rotten eggs here and there, you can no longer turn on the TV or log on to Facebook without reading about something that will make you lose faith in humanity.
Were these people not taught how to be nice to others? Or are we, as a society losing our grip on the importance of respect and kindness?
When my kids were little, I made it my mission to instill in them a kind and giving spirit, whether through how I treated them or through everyday life lessons (a la manners, respect, generosity, etc.). Now that my kids are grown, I see them trying to instill these qualities in my grandkids which I, as the grandma, reinforce whenever I am around.
This got me thinking: Wouldn’t it be neat if all of us grandmas bonded together to help teach this next generation how to be kind? To do this, I have compiled a list of 45 ways to teach our grandchildren kindness, all of which consist of small yet mighty acts that can change the trajectory of our society (and create lasting memories):
- Hold the door open for someone
- Offer to help carry someone’s groceries
- Compliment someone on their outfit or hairstyle
- Write a thank-you note to someone who has helped them
- Offer to help clean up after a meal or event
- Bring a snack or drink to a neighbor who may be feeling lonely
- Smile and say hello to strangers they encounter
- Share their toys or books with friends or siblings
- Say “please” and “thank you” when asking for or receiving something
- Make a homemade gift for someone special (DIY gift ideas here!)
- Offer to walk a neighbor’s dog or pet sit for them
- Donate toys or clothes they no longer need to a charity
- Help a younger sibling or cousin with homework or a task
- Bake cookies or make a card for a family member or friend (some recipe ideas here!)
- Donate money or volunteer time to a local charity or organization
- Pick up litter in their neighborhood or at a park.
- Offer to water a neighbor’s plants or garden while they are away
- Hold an umbrella or offer to share their coat with someone who forgot theirs on a rainy day
- Say something nice or offer a compliment to a person who may be feeling down or sad
- Help an elderly neighbor or family member with tasks like carrying groceries or running errands
- Invite a new or shy classmate to sit with them at lunch or play with them during recess
- Offer to help a friend with a school project or studying for a test
- Leave a kind note or message for a family member or friend to find
- Volunteer at a local shelter or community organization
- Offer to babysit for a family member or neighbor so they can have a night out
- Donate a toy or book to a children’s hospital or shelter
- Help plant flowers or trees in a community garden or park
- Offer to help a family member or friend with household chores or cleaning
- Bring a cup of tea or coffee to a teacher or mentor as a thank-you gesture
- Participate in a charity event or fundraiser, such as a walk-a-thon or bake sale.
- Donate non-perishable food items to a local food bank or pantry
- Offer to read to a younger sibling or cousin
- Help a friend who is struggling with a task or assignment
- Offer to shovel snow or rake leaves for a neighbor
- Write a letter or make a card for a military service member or first responder
- Collect and donate gently used books to a library or school
- Offer to pick up groceries or run errands for an elderly neighbor or family member
- Help a friend or family member move by packing or unpacking boxes
- Offer to walk a neighbor’s dog or play with their pet (you can even make money doing this!)
- Visit a nursing home or retirement community to spend time with residents
- Offer to teach a younger sibling or cousin a new skill, like riding a bike or tying their shoes
- Pay for a stranger’s coffee or meal in line behind them (this is one for when they are a bit older!)
- Write a positive message or draw a picture with sidewalk chalk for neighbors to see
- Offer to clean up a public area like a park or playground
- Volunteer at a local animal shelter or rescue organization.
Just think: Our grandkids can go out and teach others the power of kindness through their actions alone and, together, can make the world a gentler place! I thank you in advance, my fellow Devoted Grandma, for teaching your grandkids how to be a bright spot in an often dark world.
Can you think of other simple acts of kindness we can teach our grandkids? Please let me know. As always, let’s talk again soon.