249: Teaching Children to be Kind // Amanda Ferraioli

My greatest hope for my children is that they will be kind–I care way more about that than if they are academic or athletic or musical or even responsible. I just hope with all my heart that they will be good to the people around them–to notice those who are left out or hurting and be the one to reach out a hand of friendship.

Maybe you also share this desire for your children. Have you ever wondered, like I have, if kindness can be taught? Do you just sort of have to cross your fingers and hope your kids end up with a naturally kind temperament–or are there lessons and activities that we can do as a family that will increase the chances of them developing this trait?

Today’s guest is going to give us so many ideas of ways to build a culture of kindness and community involvement in our homes. Amanda Ferraioli has been an elementary school teacher for 13 years, and she also teaches yoga and mindfulness to children and adults. Most importantly, she is the parent to three amazing and active children, ages 7, 5, and 1.5. I’m so grateful to Amanda for her time in sharing with our community about this super important topic. 




1)  Model self care and kindness for your little ones. This means prioritizing filling your own bucket in addition to filling the buckets of others, no matter how busy you are. Show your kids what it looks like to care compassionately for yourself and talk compassionately to yourself. When you model self-respect for your kids, they will better understand that ALL human beings deserve respect and kindness.


2)  Find new hobbies, interests, and organizations to donate your time to and most importantly, let your child in on these interests. Talk to them about how your work professionally–or your hobbies and passion-causes–are blessing others’ lives, and allow them to help you and feel a part of that. I loved the visual of Amanda’s children helping her to set up her classroom every year. 


3) Allow your child to see what it means to live in community by setting the example. Reach out to your neighbors, in big and small ways. Notice people around you who need a helping hand and invite your children to join you in brainstorming how you might help. If you want to take on a bigger project, consider researching a cause together and doing a lemonade stand to raise money. Or you could do something that is unique to your child’s interests, like the community lending library that adds to the feeling of community in your neighborhood. 


>>>Are these tips from Amanda Ferraioli helpful? What would you add to the takeaways? Tell us in the comments below.



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