Learning to Say Kind Words

Minghui Dou Dou Kindergarten i

PureInsight | July 4, 2005

[PureInsight.org] [Note: Dou Dou means "little sprouting beans" in Chinese, a common metaphor for small children.] For more information about Minghui Dou Dou Kindergarten, please read "PureInsight.org: Minghui Dou Dou Kindergarten Is Established in Taiwan."

In today's words, people say uncharitable things about each other all the time. It is rare to find someone who chooses to say kind things about other people. If we fail to say kind things about other people, how do we expect our children to learn to say kind things about other people?

At Minghui Dou Dou Kindergarten, we usually wrap up each day by reviewing the day's activities with the children. One day, I decided to change the routine and end the day by prompting the children to say kind things about other people. "Class, can anyone think of a classmate who behaved well today?" This was supposed to be a simple question, but the class suddenly became silent and still, as if I had given them a challenge. After two long, silent minutes, a kid raised her hand and answered seriously, "Teacher, C poked at me today." Other kids looked at me, anticipating my reply. It was not until then that I realized that they did not even know what "kind words" meant. I explained to the little girl, "These are not kind words. Saying kind words is saying the virtues or good things about other people. For example, I saw Bobo and Hanghang from the third grade helping little girls out in the first grade today. I would call Bobo and Hanghang thoughtful. Calling people "thoughtful" is saying kind words." After hearing my explanation, the children looked at each other and looked confused. Before I called it a day, I told them, "Tomorrow I expect you to start saying kind words about other kids. Therefore, I hope that you will start observing other kids tomorrow."

A few days later, the children gradually learned to find other kids' virtues. At breaks many of them were eager to tell me that they saw good things in other kids. At first, the merit they found in other kids was usually about being able to concentrate on practicing Falun Gong exercises, completing the practice of Falun Standing Stance without taking any break, or completing the practice of Strengthening Divine Powers without putting down the legs. (At Minghui Dou Dou Kindergarten, we practice Falun Gong exercises every day.) Gradually, older kids learned to appreciate other kids' merits at a deeper level. "Teacher, Jingyun showed better table manners today!" "Teacher, Dingding pointed at each Chinese character when he studied the Fa today. He studied the Fa well today!" I also reminded the praised kids to thank the kids who paid them compliments.

After a few weeks, I began to ask them to observe their parents and pay them compliments. I hope that they will prompt their families to have more kind thoughts.

I think I have benefited the most from the exercise. In the first few days when the kids were not very enthusiastic about participating in the exercise, I had to give them many examples of good words, such as gentle, considerate, thoughtful. I was surprised that I had to think for a long time to come up with good words. It means that I rarely used these words in my daily life! It is an alarming sign for me. How do I prompt the students to say kind things about others when I don't even remember many kind words?

Nowadays the children sometimes come up to me to tell me good things about other kids. I ask them to pay those kids direct compliments. Before the end of each day, I ask the kids to tell each other their observed good behavior. Sometimes the kids would come whispering in my ear, "I think you did very well today, teacher!" My heart would melt each time I heard such compliments.

It gives me great pleasure to hear the kids praising each other's good behavior. When a kid hears a compliment from his peers, he will feel very welcome, included and confident!

Translated from: http://www.minghui-school.org/school/article/2004/6/26/33441.html

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