This 'Challenge' Teaches Your Kids That Small Acts of Kindness Go a Long Way

The Great Kindness Challenge
The Great Kindness Challenge/Facebook

Every parent aspires to raise a kindhearted child who's loving and thoughtful of others. This common goal is what unites us as moms and dads to set the example and do better for our kids. That's why we're rallying behind the amazing Great Kindness Challenge that's inspiring children everywhere to spread cheer and commit random acts of kindness.

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For six years and counting, the Great Kindness Challenge has encouraged school-age children and communities to get more involved and lend a helping hand. Jill McManigal is a mom and former elementary school teacher who felt inspired to start this movement in various California schools back in 2011 as a way to uplift and motivate children to be kinder to each other.

Because as the grassroots campaign says, "Kindness matters!"

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Each year, from January 23 through January 27, students are challenged to promote kindness by completing 50 random acts of kindness in the span of one week -- like joining a student they don't know for lunch, flashing their pearly whites at 25 people, and encouraging others. Participants can also take their kindness endeavors to the next level by becoming Kindness Certified or acquiring Kind Coins to invest in schools in need across the globe.

The Great Kindness Challenge
The Great Kindness Challenge

"My inspiration is creating a world where everyone is loved and cared for and happy," Jill tells ABC News in an interview about the Great Kindness Challenge. "We want all children and all students to recognize the goodness in others, and this gives them the platform to do that."

 

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The Great Kindness Challenge is an initiative of Kids for Peace, a nonprofit organization Jill founded in 2006 with then–high school honors student Danielle Gram. In 2016 alone, over 5 million children and more than 8,000 schools participated in the Great Kindness Challenge, which resulted in over 250 million random acts of kindness around the world.

Wow.

Have I mentioned how much I LOVE this idea and how perfect and amazing and necessary and relevant this movement is? With all the negativity young students face today -- including bullying and issues with self-confidence and body image -- the Great Kindness Challenge sounds like the perfect way to get more involved and become mini activists and expand their worldview with an international and inclusive focus.

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This is the "kind" of program I want my 3- and 1½-year-old boys to participate in as they grow up. I want them to be caring, compassionate, and selfless gents-in-training who are always thinking about others -- and striving to make sure the people around them are okay.

Heck, my boys don't have to wait until they're older to participate, as many of the random acts of kindness on the list are things they can do right now.

And speaking of right now, there's still time to participate! Excuse me while I sign up. 

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