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:
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.
Guest Blogger: Hang Pham, an Vietnamese-American author and MA in English literature. She is a parenting & family article writer who has written numerous articles/online journals on Family & Education. Ms. Pham is also passionate about health, beauty, fitness, women’s issues and more. Her articles are featured on http://vkool.com/relationships/ , Examiner and Beforeitsnews.
Check out her new health blog: http://allremedies.com/
We were contacted to receive and provide an honest review on HCF Happy, Calm & Focused Brain Supplements. Our need to remain on track is always important but when you add the summer heat, swimming, dance, gymnastics, and jiu jitsu to our calendar - every bit helps. I started taking HCF three weeks ago and have since had to deal with arranging funeral services, planning last minute travel, beginning the tot's summer activities - on top of my daily goals of running a successful home, marriage and business.
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LeaveittoMama.com started in February of 2014 and has grown through collaborations, networking and brain power. The time we've spent has not been easy, but definitely rewarding. We are learning that in order to be our best, we must put our health first.
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As a parent, it is our duty to make sure that we provide everything in our power for our children to have the best life possible. This includes learning and providing education. But sometimes we get enveloped in the “superbaby” syndrome, where we are not only pushing our child to do well – but to be better than everyone else.
We play Mozart for our womb (hello “pregaphone”), draw up “lesson plans” for our newborns during maternity (come on, you know who you are), purchase books out the wazoo, put iPads on our credit cards, ruminate over the best daycare, sell our spacious house (for ZERO profit) just to move into an apartment in the best school district (especially, you ATLANTA), purchase hundreds of flash cards, and order “Your Baby Can Read” when the commercial comes on during your 3am feeding (yes, my daughter had the entire set thanks to daddy).
By the time of their first birthday - we become as anxious about our child recognizing colors as we are about choosing the next car seat.
As understandable as this is, most is unnecessary. There is no research that supports the notion that children who display academic skills ahead of the curve (ex: reading before entering kindergarten) continue to have a “leg up” on his peers. Truth is, once the other kids enter school and are taught the essentials, they tend to catch up around 2nd or 3rd grade. So, yes we have reason to become fixated on finding the right elementary school but we go overboard with math pop quizzes for a 3 year old. One of the reasons is that young children are always learning – especially from their environment, they are learning the basics of communication, socialization, and trusting that their basic needs will be consistently met. When surveyed, most “gifted” children are not specifically the ones who were injected into early learning but those whom injected themselves. Naturally gifted children tend to be the ones initiating learning, seeking out academic activities on their own.
Aside from bragging rights for mommy and daddy, you’re not really creating massive benefits. What children are learning are social norms, manners, and emotional intelligence – which if learned incorrectly, is hard to unlearn (just ask the 5th grader who is still biting his classmates). So, should we become anxious over our toddler’s ability to answer Jeopardy questions and play Scrabble – NO. BUT - we need to pay attention to how we, as parents and their other caregivers (especially daycare staff, grandparents, older siblings), conduct ourselves in front of our little ones. Even during flashcard sessions with your two year old – she is learning more by noticing your uninterrupted love, without cell phones, and your tone (i.e. reframing from getting angry when she answers “blue” when you ask her how many apples there are in the basket)...
***Interesting info on the false claims of "Your Baby Can Read": http://www.ftc.gov/news-events/press-releases/2012/08/ads-touting-your-baby-can-read-were-deceptive-ftc-complaint
Our Guest Blogger, Cherrell Thomas, is a professional counselor, licensed by the state of Georgia and certified by the national board of counselors. With over 7 years in the field, Cherrell has experience in multiple areas of mental health.
Through her private practice, HELPFUL THERAPY CENTER LLC, she promotes the power of inner resiliency and encourages her clients to define their own "happy". However, she may have met her match in her three year old daughter who is teaching her everyday about life, parenting, and the struggle for sanity.
Follow along as we uncover the myths in a candid conversation, only a Mama can identify.
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