People say random kindness has this ripple effect that can affect virtually everyone in the world. They also say that kindness is acquired and can also be learned. In this respect, it is but important to inculcate this value to our kids during their youngest years. In a world right now that is with inundated with gadgetry, this could tough. But for a parent that has that will to inculcate kindness effectively, this won’t only be a very fulfilling task but is also something that you can be very proud of in the long run.
Right from when we were still pregnant, we were taught to be kind to ourselves and our unborn children as well. From the food that we choose to the way we avoid stress, kindness is proven to be this necessary and intrinsic.
On the other hand, there are a lot of ways to teach our kids about the value of kindness. But as opposed to just telling them, why don’t we just skip to that part and just demonstrate these ways instead. A wiser parent knows that most kids would just take these words in one ear and let them dissipate in the other.
I’m streamlining some of the best ways to practice and spread kindness not only to your children’s friends and loved one but also to the rest of the people out there. And once taught and exemplified successfully, our world will inevitably become a much better place to live.
Six Essential Ways to Teach Your Kids Kindness
1.) Introduce the value of helping as a team and a family affair.
Where else could you start kindness easily and significantly but in the very confines of your home? You can drive kindness to your kids by introducing it in whatever family occasion you have at the moment or any activity that requires teamwork. In this way, kindness is demonstrated as a whole experience. This should tell your kids that once kindness is emanated from within and is experienced by others, everyone in that place will be empowered to show kindness too.
2.) Tackle the concept and importance of sharing your abundance or wealth.
The ideology of abundance can be a little tricky. If it is left all by itself without cultivating the importance of sharing to other people, the concept will just remain, well, a concept. And worse, it could lead to selfishness and worldliness. And abundance doesn’t only reside in money and material things, it could also be gleaned from the most natural of things like your many roses in the garden or apples from your prized tree.
You can teach your kids to share these to their friends down to the strangers in the street. Inculcate that once you’re having too many, it is very much okay to share them with others. The value of sharing your abundance will also teach your children the idea about donation at an early stage.
3.) The much-needed respect for the earth.
Probably the least taught value among our kids is the respect for the earth which is very much absent nowadays. You can demonstrate kindness for our planet by teaching them not to litter anywhere. Or if they see something that has not been thrown in the trash, they can throw it right away.
When you let them know the significance of preserving our planet, this will also allow you to introduce the idea of recycling. Demonstrate to your child how you collect empty cans along with bottles and bring them with you as give these to the recycling centers. Meanwhile, relay to your kids that they can donate the money that was given in return by the recycling center to any supermarket or even to the unfortunate ones in the street.
4.) The “Pitching In” Effect
If you teach your kids with their chore assignments, ensure that you let them know not only how but more importantly why you are allowing them to perform these tasks. The art of this value shouldn’t be taught because they are members of the family or because it is the right thing to do. The greater lesson is that these tasks will make them a lot kinder to themselves in the future as they already know how to do them. Meanwhile, this could also help other people when they need them. Ultimately, this will make them feel great in knowing that they can help in one way or another.
The art of teamwork is also important in this regard. When things at home during a playdate have gone messy literally, teach your child to help you to clean things up (even if this stuff are just a few!) along with his friends. It will help your child understand the ideology behind “pitching in.”
5.) Creativity in kindness.
Harness your child’s creativity will little acts of kindness. You can do this by determining his excellent skills first and once you’re done with them, assign them to varying actions that could make use of their talent. For example, if your son is adept at painting or drawing, you can ask him to make a card for someone (there is no need to specific here) that it eventually to be given by a stranger or even a cancer patient in a ward. At the core of this, your child should be able to learn that being creative doesn’t just stop there and that it can go further to make a lot of difference in this world.
6.) The art of gratitude and mindfulness.
Teach your kid how to give genuine compliments to a stranger by let’s say, telling how her adorable hat is or pet for that matter. Teach your child to respond well as this stranger corresponds to his kindness. In this way, your kid is taught that kindness is one of those good cycles that just gives.
Ultimately, you can also teach your children to be always kind to themselves and that they should be mindful of their actions. You can tell them that as a person, we are bound to commit mistakes and that it is okay to be not okay. Being mindful of this awareness can be powerful and is such an ego-booster for your child.
When your child is already conscious of his actions, thoughts, and behavior, then he can mitigate whatever crisis he may have in the future. And all these emanate from the value of being kind to themselves.
In truth, the list of ways to teach your kids on how to practice and spread kindness could go on further if we do so. However, these six outlined ways are essentially what you need to accomplish this task. Bear in mind though that these are not just words to be evoked literally. They have to be demonstrated religiously to get your core messages across effectively.
As you teach these things to your child, you should be able to learn something from it too. Once you do, you should forever be grateful.
Was the article helpful in answering our catalyst for this discussion? Did you think I missed on something crucial on the listed ways above? If you think so, please feel free to sound them in the comment section below.
Guest post by Serena Morris, founder of KittyMoms