Ways to breed kindness in kids.
We all have great dreams and hopes for our kids to be successful doctors, lawyers, musicians, engineers or Youtubers. But at the basis of these big dreams, do we remember to groom them into caring, kind, respectful and responsible individuals?
Harvard psychologist Richard Weissbourd says in his book The Parents We Mean To Be that “parents – not peers, not television – are the primary shapers of their children’s moral lives”. Thus, it is our responsibility to raise our children to be moral people.
Here are five tips to help you teach kindness to your child.
Values Are Best Caught Than Taught
Make a conscious effort to practice kindness yourself and your child will follow. However, do not brag about your acts of kindness or you may soon find them trumpeting their own actions. The key is to be sincere and humble, not for personal glorification.
Set clear and firm boundaries to teach your child what is socially acceptable and appreciated. It is important to explain why boundaries are set up and the consequences of breaking personal, family and social boundaries. Always remember to focus on your child’s action, not on him.
The Five Magic Phrases
Teach your child to thank others politely and even ask if others need help. You can use the five magic words: “thank you”, “you’re welcome”, “please”, “sorry”, and “excuse me”. Don’t forget to affirm him when he does it right. Positive reinforcement helps to build his confidence.
Open Their Eyes To The Real World
Take your child to visit people who are developmentally, economically or physically challenged. Encourage them to volunteer their time or share their books and toys. Remember not to use derogatory terms while explaining the different plights other can be in.
Share Stories On Kindness
Read kindness-themed books at bedtime, or play games where they can learn about values and morals. Other informative ways to engage your child is through videos and also specially designed apps and websites that help deliver the message of being considerate and kind to others.