‘the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate.
“Kind words can be short and easy to speak but their echoes are truly endless.” ~ Mother Teresa
A huge goal as parents is to raise children that anticipate and do nice things for other people in their lives for intrinsic motivations rather than reward.
Imagine a world of kindness … a world in which everyone looked out for each other and supporting one another was a priority. There would be less bullying, road rage, violence and crime. It sounds like a dream but a world of kindness is possible and it starts with raising kind, empathetic and compassionate children.
Raising kind little humans doesn’t need to be daunting, in fact here are some simple ways to encourage kind learners in your household.
1. Role Model
We can’t expect kind children if we aren’t kind ourselves. Kindness starts with you! This might take some practice as you override old habits, particularly if you can be a little reactive. Your children are watching your every move and learning what is acceptable, they see how you react when the waitress makes a mess of your order, the car in front cuts you off or the telemarketer calls at dinner time.
2. Help children manage their negative feelings
We all experience negative feelings; sadness, grief, anger, shame and jealousy. Children often have their feelings dismissed when adults tell them ‘you’re ok’ or ‘big girls don’t cry’ this can be really damaging to a child’s developing personality. We need to teach children that ALL feelings are okay, but some ways of dealing with them are not helpful. Children need our help learning to cope with these feelings in productive ways. For example- it’s ok to be angry, however it is not acceptable to be angry and hurt someone. We need to teach children to acknowledge, deal with and move on. All feelings are valid, all responses are not.
Teaching authentically and in the moment is very important, however we can prepare our children by educating them. Books and role play are great ways to promote or practise emotional regulation.
5 Children’s Book that encourage Kindness
- Last Stop on Market Street – Matt De La Pena
- The Invisible Boy – Judy Ludwig
- Have you Filled a Bucket Today? – Carol McCloud
- On My Way to a Happy Life – Deepak Chopra
- A Sick Day for Amos McGee – Phillip Stead
“The very nature of kindness is to spread. If you are kind to others, today they will be kind to you, and tomorrow to somebody else.” ~ Sri Chinmoy