School is where most children move into the world beyond their homes, form friendships, and begin to learn how to manage social interactions. It is the perfect place to learn about kindness. At Waynflete, we support this process continually by helping even our youngest students to begin forming ideas about what friendship is and provide them with the language of human interactions.
In our Early Childhood preschool program, we directly teach kindness through reading stories, modeling kind behavior, supporting students as they navigate conflict, and through what we call our “morality plays”—little skits where teachers act out typical moments in children’s school lives where they can choose to act kindly. We also meditate daily in our class. Most often we focus on our breath with our breathing stones or our mind jars while listening to calming music. We recently introduced the idea of Loving Kindness meditation where our students send out positive thoughts to someone—that they may be safe, healthy, happy, and at peace.
Together these practices aim to help students get in touch with their internal tempos, provide them with some tools to calm down or reset, and introduce them to the idea of kindness and altruism.
Read a recent New York Times article about teaching kindness in preschool.