5 Ways To Encourage Kindness In Children
Children mimic adults, picking up on subtle cues from the way you walk and the way you talk, so why not be a role model and teach children to exhibit kindness daily? Lead by example with these five ways to promote kindness in children.
- Volunteer together. Connect with a local charity or motivational program, and spend an hour a week with your child helping others. Check with your child’s school to see if there’s opportunity to help out with an after-school tutoring program or on weekends. For the past six years, I’ve been a volunteer with a therapeutic horseback-riding program. Many times, I’ve seen mother-daughter teams working with the clients. Not only are the riders getting hands-on attention, but the volunteers get a chance to bond with one another. The youngsters also learn how fulfilling it is to help others.
- Help a friend. Next time you assist an elderly neighbor, take the little ones along. As they watch you interact with kindness toward the neighbor, they’ll learn the proper way to talk to and treat those they care about, especially our elders.
- Make a donation. Children love to receive, especially when it’s a birthday or holiday gift. Show children the other side of that coin by letting them experience how good it feels to give to others. Assemble a box of toys that the child no longer plays with or some clothes that members of the family have outgrown. As a team, drop the unwanted items off at a resale store. Explain to the child that other people will come into the store and be glad to find their old items for sale at a reasonable price.
- Be aware of your language. As a busy parent, sometimes it’s too easy to start every sentence with a negative word such as “stop” or “don’t.” If you find yourself doing this, rephrase your sentences with a kinder approach. Soon, you’ll notice your child copying your phrases and speaking in more positive tone. For example, instead of saying “don’t poke the cat while he’s sleeping,” try saying, “Why don’t we let the cat sleep and play with him when he wakes up?”
Above all, remember that your children watch and listen to everything that you do. Modeling good behavior reinforces the natural goodness and kindness in children. Set a good example today!
By: Angela Tague
Image source: Flickr