Kindness is an important value that can be incorporated in kids from the early years with little effort from parents. Helping the needy and treating others with compassion are kind acts for children to learn. Many parents struggle to raise a caring and compassionate child.
Always remember, ‘fruits don’t fall far from trees’
As caring and sharing are inherited from parents, children can learn kindness over time and only through practice. Try to include lessons of kindness in your daily routine. Keep asking them about some acts of kindness that your child may have noticed.
If the kid finds it difficult to answer, start telling about small kind acts within the family. Whenever you spot any act of compassion on TV or the internet, try to point it out in front of your kid. Explain with examples and encourage kindness among siblings.
Every day one activity to display kindness will help your children to develop this virtue. Observe your children and identify what is going on in their brains. Watch them closely to find out the particular stage of development.
Developmental stages of Empathy
Empathy is the quality to understand somebody else’s feelings. It develops over time through different developmental stages of a child.
- A 2-year-old kid can give her pacifier seeing her friend crying. This is when she doesn’t understand her friend’s pain. But she remembers her sad moments and how she feels comfortable with a pacifier.
- At the age of 3, a child may be a bit more aware of her surroundings. But, this is not her age to understand how others are feeling.
- At the age of 4, children learn to apologize. When they hurt others, they can now say sorry without being told. In this age, a child can be empathetic towards another child’s injury.
- Children, age 5 or 6 can be able to relate to other’s feelings. This is the time when you can brainstorm them with ideas of helping others.
Practice these 10 tips to encourage kindness in kids
1. Read books of kindness and compassion
Books are a superb tool for culturing and cultivating kindness in a child’s mind. Bring books related to kindness, compassion, caring, and helping others. Read it aloud as kids love to listen to adventure stories of others. Stories play a vital role in a kid’s mental development. This way they would learn to help and make a lot of friends.
2. Keep conversing about RAOK
Bedtime is the best time when you can talk to your child regarding random acts of kindness (RAOK). Discuss what all happened during the entire day and what all have been noticed on the ground or grocery store. Your kids will recollect the acts of compassion. This is one of the simplest ways where you get to spend time with kids while encouraging them to be kind. Kindness can be a topic of discussion at dinner time as well. Reflect on the incident and ask them how they felt about it.
3. Be a good neighbor
We are social beings, staying in society with lots of neighbors. You can become a helpful and kind neighbor who tries to solve the problems of others. This way, your kid will learn how to be compassionate. Children will develop empathy if they get to involve in various community activities held in the place where you live.
4. Teach manners
Teach your kids manners from a very young age. Tell them that calling someone names can be hurt. Children tend to exclude other children while playing. Make them understand that it will make the excluded child sad. Teach them to say ‘thank you’, ‘sorry’, and ‘please’. Tell them how they can achieve things without hurting others.
5. Be a role model
Become a positive role model as children learn the ethical values by observing elders. When you practice honesty, fairness, and caring, children see and learn it quickly. Let your kid see the act of kindness that you perform to others. It can be as simple as dropping your neighbor to the grocery store. For babies, you can start conversing like, ‘a little bit food for baby, a little bit food for mommy’.
6. Treat kids with respect
Always try to give respect to your children, even if they are very small. For example, when your children are playing in the playground and it is time to go home, do not pull them or force them to go. It is a disrespectful way to treat them. Try to explain real-world experiences. Tell them that parents don’t need to agree with everything but they listen to all without putting each other down.
7. Teach patience and tolerance
Patience and tolerance are qualities of a permissive attitude where opinions differ from others. Children will develop opinions with time but they must learn how to agree to disagree.
8. Provide opportunities
Providing them with ample opportunities will make them self-confident. And gradually, they will develop kindness and compassion. Tell your kids to notice their folks and inspire them to help others. Send your kid ahead to help any old and aged people need help in the supermarket or on the road. Stay alongside them for safety and security.
9. Do not criticize their efforts
Whenever you are asking your kids to help with your daily chores, it is obvious that they will create some sort of mess. They may put the wet towel on the bed or spill the milk on the floor. Try not to scold or criticize them as that will bring a feeling of inept and unskilled in your child. Let the little helpers keep helping you slowly and imperfectly.
10. Teach teamwork
Make helping a family affair so that children get to involve in various activities. If your friend is sick, or any poor family requires help, try to take your kids along for helping them. Tell them to deliver the gifts or food to the needy. Ask them to arrange the table or do the dressing over some preparation when friends are visiting your house. All these will help them to understand teamwork and how to work in groups.
Here, you get to know 10 tips to encourage kindness in kids. Try to incorporate these in your daily parenting guidelines. Though the list is endless, and numerous activities or ways are present to teach your children kindness but following these can be a good start.