It’s so easy, despite our ultra-connected society, to feel isolated and alone. We are plugged in, and so are our kids. And the art of welcome conversation is getting lost. Teaching children to be welcoming to others encourages them to be sensitive to others’ needs and feelings. They are more likely to reach out to kids who are alone or new.

And really, don’t we all just want loving, kind, and empathetic kids?

Teaching Kids to Welcome Others via www.RaisingLifelongLearners #RaisingKindKids Acts of Kindness RAK

Isn’t hospitality Biblical? And something we want our children to extend? Then how do we teach them to welcome others?

 

Little Kids

  • We can start by having them watch us greet others in love. Go out of your way to make others feel welcome wherever you are. Model greetings for your kids, and have them practice with family and friends so that they become comfortable greeting everyone.
  • When a friend comes over, encourage your child to answer the door and greet the guest, offering to take their coat, get them a drink, and show them in.
  • If a friend or someone from co-op or church has a baby, welcome the new arrival with your child by making cards, a small gift, and drawing a picture.

 

Bigger Kids

  • Help homebound neighbors feel welcome and connected to the neighborhood or your church congregation by bringing them cookies and news of what’s going on.
  • Create a “welcome wagon” for new neighbors or new members of your church or homeschool group. Include a small welcome gift like a book, plant, or craft kit for the kids. Include a folder with any forms they may need, tips for joining in events, and photos of other members with their names so that they might feel connected more quickly.
  • Have children go along to visit sick friends {or those with new babies} to play with the other children. Oftentimes the other kids feel pushed aside and this will help them feel like they’re an important and welcome part of the family.

creating a welcome wagon

Overall, the key to teaching kids to be welcoming and empathetic in all situations is to model it. Be welcoming of everyone, especially in the presence of your children.

Over the next 31 days, we’ll be exploring more ways we can encourage kindness in children. You can follow the hashtag #RaisingKindKids on social media and share your own ideas using the hashtag. You can make sure you don’t miss a post by subscribing to our weekly newsletter  and by bookmarking the index page where all of the links for the coming 31 days and any other post {past or future} about kindness is archived.

 

Raising Kind Kids - a 31 Day Series from www.RaisingLifelongLearners.com

 

Colleen Kessler

Colleen is an explorer, tinkerer, educator, writer, creator, and a passionate advocate for the needs of gifted and twice-exceptional children. She has a B.S. in elementary education, a M.Ed. in gifted studies, is a sought-after national speaker and educational consultant, and is the founder of the popular blog and podcast Raising Lifelong Learners, as well as Raising Poppies, a community of support for parents of gifted children. She lives in northeast Ohio with her four bright and quirky kiddos, patient husband, and ever-changing collection of small reptiles, mammals, and insects.