Many parents have said the words: “Don’t fight”, “Play nicely” or “Be nice to each other” to their child. This is because as parents, we want to raise our children to be kind and caring individuals.
Wanting your child to be kind is totally normal and a fantastic goal to have. The truth of the matter is, that while kindness can be taught, most of it is learned through example.
HOW TO ENCOURAGE KINDNESS IN YOUR CHILD
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If you want your child to be kind, no amount of lecturing will work. In fact, you are just wasting your breath. Kindness is learned (not taught) and learning kindness starts at home.
The way you speak to others in front of your children is essentially how your kids learn to treat others. In fact, the way that you respond to your children also makes a huge impact in how they speak to others.
If you want your children to be kind, it is important that you model that behavior for them.
Participate in important initiatives and show your children that helping others and being kind is rewarding in its own sense.
ACKNOWLEDGE ACTS OF KINDNESS
Acknowledging large acts of kindness that your children perform is crucial to their development, but it isn’t necessary to go overboard with rewards.
If your child participates in something out of the ordinary like going out of their way to assist someone in need, that is a great time to say something like “It must have felt good to help that person today!”
Some acts of kindness could include raking your neighbor’s yard, shoveling an elderly person’s walkway, or baking cookies for a friend going through a hard time.
This doesn’t mean that you should be raining praises on them for common everyday acts of kindness like helping out with chores or playing with a sibling. These acts of kindness are something that should be expected as part of their daily routine and making a big deal out of them can be counterproductive.
Instead, make sure to focus on the big things they do to help others.
WHAT ARE SOME ACTS OF KINDNESS A CHILD CAN DO?
Check out these 99 Acts of Kindness that you and your child can do together:
Showing your children how a simple “please” or “thank you” can make a difference in everyday interactions, is a great way to display that kindness is much more pleasant than the alternative. Teaching your child the art of writing a thank you note or letter of appreciation is a great way to encourage kindness in your child.
The way your children speak to others makes a huge difference in the way they will treat others in the future. Encouraging our children to grow up to be kind individuals is very important.
Just remember, the learning starts at home and the way you behave has a huge impact on your child’s behavior.
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