When raising a child, there are a number of positive qualities you likely want to instill. From bravery and courage to intelligence and honesty, promoting the development of such traits is often a priority. Of the long list of positive qualities, parents may find that kindness is one of the most valuable and desirable traits for a child to have. Because of this, it is important to acknowledge and adopt the various methods you can use to help your children learn how to be kind.
Children, especially those at a young age, often learn best through observation and mimicry. Naturally, then, one of the best ways to instill thoughts and behaviors of kindness in your children is to be kind yourself. Being kind to your children, your partner, and strangers helps show your children that kindness should be unconditional and can be shown to everyone. Additionally, demonstrate kindness in the way you speak about other people, especially when they aren’t present; rather than teach your children to buy into gossip and negatively, instead promote kindness and genuine appreciation and respect for others.
Think Before You Speak
It can be easy for parents to instinctually correct rude, inconsiderate, and unkind behavior without thinking about how things are phrased. Rather than correct behavior, you should encourage discussion and connection to help your child understand why their behavior is wrong and how they can move forward in a positive, kind way. A key takeaway from this practice is that it is productive to discipline yourself before you discipline a child; control what you say and do to ensure you practice what you preach.
Share Positive Media
Negativity is rampant in all forms of media. From news outlets sharing tragic stories to social media producing an endless stream of negative influence, children are exposed to negativity from an early age. While some parents may consider that attempting to eliminate all media is the best option, doing so can isolate your child and lead to some form of resentment. Instead, promote positive media for your child’s consumption. Watching films and T.V. shows together, sharing books with positive messages, and generally teaching your child to be positive, hopeful, and critical of what they see online can help limit the negative influence of media and instill kindness in your child.
Kindness is a valuable trait in today’s society. Teaching your children to be kind and working to develop your own kindness can help improve their lives and make the world a better place one individual at a time.
Originally published on GreggJaclin.org