How can you help teach and encourage your child to be kind to others? How can you stop your kids falling out?
These were some of the things I found myself googling when my kids were falling out with one another. How could I just make them be nice to one another?!
After lots of googling and chatting to other mums, trying reward charts (which worked sometimes) and attempting to try the ‘naughty step’ (which never worked for us!) I decided to give the kids a physical and visual way of rewarding them to be kind, and we named it The Kindness Cup!
And for us…it’s worked.
The Kindness Cup
What is it and how does it work?
Simply- it’s a cup that you put pom poms in!
1) Each time you catch your child being kind, you tell* them what they did and why it was kind and put a Pom Pom in their cup together.
*Talking about why they got the Pom Pom is key to helping them understand what specifically they have been done that has been kind. So it’s not about saying ‘oh you’ve been kind today, here’s a Pom Pom’ it’s more about spotting those kind gestures they do and telling them e.g ‘that was really kind when you shared that Lego with your brother, you’re getting a Pom Pom ‘ or ‘that was very kind when you helped mummy put the clothes away’. I also found it made ME feel more positive and changed the atmosphere of the house, by actively trying to see the kind things they were already doing!
2) When the Pom Pom cup is full- they get a small reward that they are ‘working for’. It’s completely your decision what the reward is, but we’ve tried to keep them small. It could be a small thing you buy, or it might be getting to watch their favourite TV program, choosing dinner or having special time with a parent.
3) Then you empty the cup and start again.
What if they are unkind? Do you take away a Pom Pom?
There’s different opinions on this and I’ll admit I’m conflicted on this. The teacher in me would say it’s not right to take away a Pom Pom if they aren’t being kind as they have earned it.
HOWEVER, the parent in me… has found that for us, taking Pom Pom away for anything VERY unkind (hitting, shouting at each other etc) has had a very positive impact on my kids.
So I’ll leave that choice for you!