Children learn more from what they see us do than what they hear us say. Are we modelling positive and kind behavior? Cultivating children’s kindness will help develop their personality and set them up to be responsible adults in the future.
Children need help managing their emotions and self-regulating to promote kindness toward themselves and towards others. Here are some of the most effective ways to begin to help kids understand kindness:
1. Consciously model kindness. Your child learns a great deal about morality simply by your behavior. If you want your child to be kind whenever you are together, consciously demonstrate kind behavior. We tend to do kind behaviors so naturally that our children may miss them, so deliberately tune them in.
2. Expect and then demand kindness. Spell out loudly and clearly your expectation that others must be treated kindly. It sets a standard for your child’s expected conduct and lets her know in no uncertain terms what you value.
3. Teach the meaning of kindness. Take time to define the virtue. One of the most important steps in teaching kindness is making sure kids know what kindness means, and it’s a step too often overlooked.
4. Show what kindness looks like. You can do this activity with your child any time you are together in a place filled with people: a store, the airport, a mall, or the school grounds. Tell her that the object is to look for people who show kindness towards others.
Coach Benjamin Mizrahi. Educator. Learning Specialist. Family Coach. Father. Husband.
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