Want to know how to encourage kindness in children? These 6 ways will help you to teach your children how to be kind. Every parent wants their child to become a good person with kindness in their heart. Parents always say “Play nicely to other people” “Be kind to your friend and your sister”. But the question is whether kindness can be taught - the answer is yes.
According to Mary Gordon who is a founder as well as a president of Roots of Empathy, it is a waste of time if you want to lecture them about what kindness is and how to be kind. Kindness is the ability to calm the aggression and develop social and emotional competence. You cannot teach your children kindness, forcefully. They will learn kindness from their heart. Mary Gordon also added that the only thing that you can help them understand and learn the act of kindness is by making good examples and letting them experience it at home.
Raise Children To Be Kind
Parents play the important role in encouraging kindness in children. If they can show their pride when their children help an elderly neighbor, their children will develop the happiness to be kind. Unfortunately, most of the children said that their parents feel prouder when they have a good mark at school than when they are caring people. But you can raise your children to be kind with these following ways on how to encourage kindness in children:
1. Give Them A Great Model
Obviously, it is the first way on how to encourage kindness in children. Children will understand what the kindness is when they see the way the parents interact with other people. Children will observe their parents daily and they tend to learn and model their parent behavior as well as the way their parents treat other people. Therefore, it is important for you to speak nicely to someone who comes to your door for help and response to your child kindly even then you are tired.
2. Give Kind Words
Julie Masterson who is a professor of communication science and disorders and works at Missouri State University as well as write the book “Beyond Baby Talk” found out the close link between language and learning sympathy. She referred the kindness as the ability that people can understand another perspective. It is important for parents to give their children another perspective to consider while encouraging them to use kind and nice words to say. For example, when a two-year old child compares his love and favorite feeling between grandfather and grandmother by saying that he loves grandmother more than his grandfather. You can say “It is good if you love your grandmother, but grandfather loves you too”. By saying this, you can let this child understand his grandfather’s feeling.
If the child is older, you can teach them how to give the kind words by asking explicit questions about his unkind language and behavior: How do you think this person will feel when hearing your unkind words? How would you feel if you were them? It is a shame when you give them personal happiness feeling without letting them understand another perspective and feeling. You may feel having the good marks is great. But it does not decide your children’s success. In fact, the families who focus on raising their children to be kind and respectful have successful children.
3. Let Them Out Of The Comfort Zone
Your children can not understand kindness and act nicely to others if they only model their parent behavior and language. Some parents are afraid of that their children can face the dangerous or difficult situation; therefore, they keep their children at home all the time. This can lead to the lack of sympathy and kindness in children. According to Shelley Kagan who is a professor of philosophy at Yale university, when the children can speak and interact with different people; they can know how to be in someone’s shoes. As the effective method on how to encourage kindness in children, you should let them interact with people from different backgrounds and different cultures. Living with different cultures will give children the good chance of developing their sympathy and kindness. A good way to introduce different cultures is letting them take a summer job or participate in charitable activities which aim to help people.
Another way to encourage kindness in children is rewarding their big acts. You should not praise them for an everyday helpful act like playing with a younger sibling or taking out the trash. It is recommended to encourage the children to do daily big act of kindness. Kindness should be part of our life and our identity.
5. Write Daily Thank-You Notes
There are effective ways to encourage kindness in children, I would like to recommend that children write thank-you notes. You can guide them by asking some questions like:
- "How did you feel when you spent time on buying a special gift for your friend?”
- “Today, did you say thank-you nicely?"
- "Which acts of kindness did you do?”
6. Promote Emotional Literacy
Today, many schools give a number of helpful and effective programs which can teach children social and emotional skills. It is recommended that children take part in these subjects. If your child’s school does not have these programs, you should search for a social and emotional learning class.
Do you want your children to be kind and sympathetic? If yes, it is not late for you to use different helpful ways on how to encourage kindness in children.
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