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Home >  News & advice > August 2018 > Kindness movement gaining momentum

Kindness movement gaining momentum


Kindness movement gaining momentum

There is a quiet movement happening in South Australia with five centres working together to stamp out bullying- one kind deed at a time.

Working together, Goodstart Belair, Blackwood, Prospect, Marleston and Port Road - Cheltenham have established a kindness movement across all five centres, encouraging and embedding acts of kindness among staff and children. 

So far, children at Goodstart Blackwood have identified kindness as; “respecting toys, being happy, playing with someone, looking after friends, and when my daddy calls me a pumpkin.” 

“We focus so much on teaching our children to be resilient and how to stand up to bullies, whereas what if we focussed heavily on kindness, empathy and respect from the moment they were born?,” Goodstart Blackwood centre director Lauren Kennedy said. 

“We believe a focus on kindness early on in life will help stamp out bullying as the children grow up.

“We have such an impact on children and if we even just touched 1000 of those kids imagine the positive difference we could make – we would have really achieved something great.”

Touched by recent media reports into the devastating effects of bullying, staff at the centres wanted to work together to establish a supportive and caring culture and healthy social relationships between the children.

“We put together a plan to start a movement for change. A movement of kindness that creates social change and encourages behaviours that are kind and supportive,” she said.
 

The five centres involved are implementing things into their everyday practices that promote and encourage kindness and give the children, staff and families more opportunities to demonstrate kindness. 

“We didn’t want one-off or token initiatives, we wanted this to be an ongoing movement of change that touches the lives of children and achieves something great,” Ms Kennedy said.

“Within the centre we have implemented Mindfulness Monday, Trustworthy Tuesday, Wellness Wednesday, Thoughtful Thursday and Friendly Friday.

“We’ve laminated cards with our kindness days on them and sent them home so families can practice those behaviours every day,” she said.

“We’ve had such an amazing response from parents.”

Other activities the centres have incorporated into their daily routines include: 
  • Reminders around the centre including signs in the foyer saying Kindness starts with me and It’s Cool to be Kind wristbands for the children and educators to wear. 
  • Kindness certificates- children and educators can give certificates when they witness acts of kindness. 
  • Sessions and conversations within each room in the centres that explore what kindness means to the children.
  • Drawings and paintings that represent kindness.
  • Picking flowers from the garden and sharing them between the children and their families.
  • A snack basket in the foyer that includes water and muesli bars for the parents to take with them in the mornings.
  • A Declaration of Kindness that educators and families sign and a Declaration of Kindness canvas that the children add their fingerprint to. 
“These are just some of the ways we are embedding this culture, this movement for change within our daily practices,” Ms Kennedy said.

“So far it’s been really effective and we have started to notice small changes in the children’s thinking and behaviours. For example one of the boys was given a kindness certificate recently when he opened the door for another family. It’s these sort of things that show us that the children have really started to think about helping each other.”

“These are just some of the ways we are embedding this culture, this movement for change within our daily practices,” Ms Kennedy said.

“So far it’s been really effective and we have started to notice small changes in the children’s thinking and behaviours. For example one of the boys was given a kindness certificate recently when he opened the door for another family. It’s these sort of things that show us that the children have really started to think about helping each other.”

 

Goodstart

Posted by Goodstart
29 August 2018



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