What Does It Mean to Be Kind? by Rana DiOrio

If you’ve been following along for any amount of time, then you know how much we absolutely love the book Be Kind by Pat Zietlow Miller. Why do we love it? It actually gives children examples of how they can be kind to others… As adults, we so often tell children that they need to “be kind,” and we expect them to understand what kind behavior is. And the reality is that they often need explicit teaching and examples before they can truly understand this command. What Does It Mean to Be Kind? is another example of a great book that defines “be kind” for children, allowing them to take this command and act on it!

What Does It Mean to Be Kind? combines simple text from Rana DiOrio with soft watercolors and lots of white space in Stéphane Jorisch. This uncomplicated presentation allows children to focus on the important message, which is examples of how and why to be kind.

Admittedly, some of this book plays on the abstract, such as when DiOrio opens with other meanings of “kind,” and my children don’t really understand that part. I’m okay with that, though, because they get the rest… They get the tangible examples of how they can be kind to others at school. They understand that sometimes, being kind isn’t easy or straightforward, such as being kind to “people even when they are struggling to be their best” and “forgiving someone who has hurt you.” DiOrio even presents ideas of how to be kind to ourselves, which is often overlooked in children’s literature!

And these trickier examples DiOrio gives are why I appreciate What Does It Mean to Be Kind? so much! Children have an easy time being kind when people around them are being kind, too… But it’s much more difficult for children (and adults!) to be kind when someone treats them poorly, to be stand up for others when unjust is happening, to dig deep and find forgiveness for others… and for ourselves.

Are you looking to help your children boost their understanding of what it means to “be kind” this school year? Then What Does It Mean to Be Kind? may be just the book you need! I believe this could be powerful for all ages!

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