As a parent and a supporter of the Wellement’s vision, you know the importance of showing kindness in today’s world. And if you spend a moment reading the news, you might have become concerned with what you see. From cyberbullying to discrimination, there are a number of very real issues that parents are rightfully concerned about. And just listen to children at the playground sometimes…
“You’re not my friend.”
“No, I don’t want to share with her right now.”
“I don’t like him because he’s mean to me.”
We can probably also make a long list of unkind things people have said to us, going back to our own childhoods. Of course, it goes without saying that you want your child or children to grow up to be the decent, amazing people you know they can be. But how do you go about teaching children about kindness?
Understanding Your Child’s Mindset
You might be tempted to think that kindness is the natural state for children. And when you think about it, they can be pretty incredible when it comes to being nice! For example, maybe your little one shared part of their snack with you or gave you a sweet pat on the back during that last hug. Research does show that children do have an internal drive to be empathetic and altruistic.
At the same time, according to that research, your child needs guidance in further developing that drive. It’s not so much that they would lose it entirely, but you want to nurture it. This helps them to understand the reasons why we share, cooperate, and help each other out. And in doing so, we set them up for later in their life when they’re dealing with those more complex situations we’re all familiar with.
So, How Do You Go About Teaching Children About Kindness?
Being kind in today’s world really does count. When we lift each other up and go that extra step to work together, truly incredible things are possible. And you want your children to be part of that picture! With that in mind, we have a number of tips that can help you with teaching your children about kindness.
Catch them in the moment
You may have heard about reprimanding your children in the moment when they do something wrong, but what about when they do something kind? Reinforce their kindness by celebrating it right then and there!
Explaining kindness to your children
While your children have a phenomenal ability to naturally understand kindness, you can help them along in a simple way. And that’s providing the reasons why kindness is so important and the ways we can show kindness to each other. Sometimes, it’s that simple!
Practice daily gratitudes with them
Teaching children about kindness is also about fostering a positive, grateful frame-of-mind. One way to do that is to share a daily gratitude together during family time.
List out kindness rules in your home
By creating a kindness rulebook, your kids can be reminded each day how important it is in your home to be kind. You can even consider a craft project to create the rulebook or poster together to show your commitment with them to kindness!
Share quotes about kindness with them
With the power of the internet at hand, you can grab quotes about generosity, consideration, and more any day of the week. By sharing them with your children, you inspire kindness that’s thoughtful and deliberate.
Read books with lessons about kindness
On that note, reading is another strong tool for teaching children about kindness. Choose stories for reading time that revolve around situations where people faced challenges, but still showed kindness and compassion to others.
Practice random acts of kindness
But really, you don’t need a specific reason to practice kindness; you can do it just because! And when you make it a priority to do so when your children are around, they see that kindness itself is the reward.
Point out when people are nice others
Acts of kindness are all around us. By pointing them out to our children when we see them, we show that adults are paying attention to those little details and that the world really is full of people who want to do right by others.
At Wellements, we make it a priority to practice kindness daily. What are some of your best tips for teaching your children all about kindness? Share with us in the comments!