We all want our babies to grow up in good, decent, kind people one day. And it’s a daily work for a parent to point our children in the right direction to achieve this goal.
From family members to their little friends, children from early age learn to communicate and get along with others. Some might need from their parents a bit more help to become carrying and kind towards others especially since for young children, their needs come first in their eyes.
It’s normal for children to be very self-centred. I think talking to your children is really important. It takes time to sink in but talking about how others feel or how they feel when others are mean to them. Help them to see the world from other people’s perspective.
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Teaching children to be kind and empathetic takes a lot of parental/child interactions that model the behavior the parent wants to see develop in the child. It also takes role playing appropriate responses when situations arise. And it takes following up with praise for positive – kind – behavior.
author at Mommy Crusader and her Knights and Ladies.
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I love the saying “be the adult you want your child to become.” I believe that the best way to teach kindness is to live it every day in our own interactions with our children and others.
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I have seen that children learn kindness and caring more easily when they are around other children and also pets. Of course, they mimic our behavior but really, they learn so much when you ask them to be ‘gentle’ or when you are teaching them to get along. My eldest had a hard time accepting other children and being nice to them till his little sister came along. He didn’t like sharing and he always wanted to be the centre of attention. The two toddlers that we have now, I have noticed, are very kind and they easily get along with not only each other but also other children their age. They have gotten so used to sharing, eating and laughing together all the time that I feel, it has made them accept that all children are like them. Mostly tots this age show rudeness because they either feel threatened or they don’t know what is acceptable behavior. We have a nephew who lives very close to us and he too has learned to be very accepting of our tots since he started visiting us more often. In the beginning there were squabbles all the time but now they are all a team.
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We have taught kindness and caring to our children with leading by example. How can I expect my child to be the person that I’m not showing them to be. They see us giving, we show them that when we give we give from the heart that means more than just the holidays. We show them how to be kind to others feelings by being kind to theirs and our own. I am the true believer in practice what you preach.
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Modeling empathy and kindness in our own adult lives can go a long way. Asking them “how would you like it it so and so did that to you?” can also help them think about things from an outside perspective. We talk often about having (and showing) a happy heart, being a bucket filler, and showing love to others. We also talk about being compassionate and giving grace to others, even if it is undeserved (Bible stories illustrating these principles are a part of our conversations too).
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A child who is respected, will become respectful. A child who is loved will become loving. A child who is treated fairly will become just. A child who is listened to will become a great listener. A child who is given choices will become responsible. A child who is treated with KINDNESS will become a great friend. A child who is nourished in all these ways will become a GREAT LEADER.
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We spend a lot of time talking about being kind, modelling being kind to our children and praising them when they are kind back. Its sometimes about giving them the opportunity to show kindness, wait a little and see if they can work it out before you as adult begins moderating behaviour.
author at The Adventures of Meemoo and Pook. Follow Gemma on Facebook and Pinterest
Use everyday opportunities to demonstrate acts of kindness. They can be small things like sharing a toy, or sending a card. Also, remember to reinforce kindness at home with family members.
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Mihaela runs Best Toys 4 Toddlers blog and loves to come up with new ideas how to use old toys her 2 daughters keep leaving on the floor to slip over. She loves them despite the fact that they call her mommy few hundred times a day, and it makes her nuts.