“Am I raising a caring child?” Why is raising your child to become a caring, respectful and responsible adult important? Because if you want your kids to be good people, you must raise them to be that way. Here are the ways you can teach your kids how to be kind:
1. Manners and Habits
Teaching good manners doesn’t have to be time-consuming. It begins as soon as they can walk and requires checking in as they get older. You also don’t need to be harsh about it.
Teaching your kids to be respectful to others, to greet people properly (without being pretentious), and teaching them to speak to people politely, are all parts of raising a kind child.
2. Teach them helpfulness
Kind people make the world an enjoyable place to be in. However, it all begins at home.
Get your kids involved in projects where they can be helpful. Ask them what they’d like to do to help out with or suggest something helpful that is bearable or even enjoyable for them to do. That way, they don’t consider helping as a task and they may even look forward to it!
3. Be kind to them
Resist the urge to lash out or transfer aggression to your children.
Remember that they are young and sometimes lack the depth and understanding that you have. Be disciplined with your emotions in a way that does not push them away from you because what you transfer to them, they grow with.
Discipline with love, support them when they are unhappy, and be gentle.
4. Teach them stories on how to be kind
Bedtime stories and storybooks about kindness are a good opportunity to teach kindness. Stories are an effective way for children to learn and understand without direct teaching.
For younger children, read stories out loud that invoke their imaginations. For older children, buy them books that have a lot of kind role models, this will educate them on ways on how to be kind.
Whenever you want to do a kind deed, involve your kids.
Involving kids in volunteer work teaches them that it feels good to be helpful. It also shows them that some people have it worse than they do and how to be grateful.
It can be simple deeds such as baking a cake for your child’s class, sharing water and food to beggars on a weekend, or visiting an orphanage with provisions.
Ask them what they think after each outreach and discuss their perspectives with them. You might inspire them to take initiative.
6. Play the gratitude game
Take some time out of their playtime to play this game with your child/children and their friends; Sit with them and have each of them say something they like about someone in the group.
You can also switch it up and ask whoever catches the ball to say 2 things they are grateful for. It feels good to receive compliments and express gratitude. So this game generates happy emotions all round and your children learn a quick way to create good energy between themselves and others.
7. Teach them not to gossip
Teach your kids to resist the urge to say spiteful things about people when they’re not there. The most important way to begin this training is to lead by example.
It is important to help them differentiate between speaking up when they are being harassed and talking badly about people they have no business with or barely know.
8. Remind them of how kindness makes them feel
Teach your child to notice how they feel when they show kindness to others. This will nudge them towards reacting kindly and help them become truly caring individuals who put out love into the world.
9. Teach your kids to read body language
Interpreting body language helps us to be more intuitive and to look beneath the surface of the things people say and do to us.
Sit quietly with your kids and observe people. Read their posture and guess what they’re thinking. Ask your child what they think. This teaches them to be perceptive at a young age and avoid conflict.
10. Help them to understand their feelings
Your child will be able to understand and manage their emotions better if they can recognise them.
Help them put a name to their feelings as often as you can. This is different from name-calling. That, you must avoid so you do not scar them.
They need to understand both negative emotions and positive ones in a judgement free space. So help them understand their emotions.
11. Encourage your child to talk about their feelings
Let them know how much you care about their feelings by listening. If they have a story about someone else, listen to their views before offering your own. Let them know you’re listening and feel encouraged to elaborate.
12. Teach teamwork
Encourage your children to work with others at school, in church or as guests.
Offer to help clean up when you visit friends or family and ask your child to help as you do. Let them know that cooperation can help them achieve things faster as they grow up. This will go a long way in teaching them how to be kind.
13. Relent from criticism
You can probably do everything you need them to do way better. However, if you take over (or criticize them too much) it leaves your children feeling inadequate and less willing to help.
When you’re impatient, a teachable moment becomes a missed opportunity. Teach them that they can make a difference at home so they step into the world with confidence and even teach others how to be kind.
14. Teach them optimism
In a world where bad things are happening everywhere and all the time, you can teach your kids to look on the bright side by turning their attention to the good things around them.
They get to develop a positive mindset towards life, understand that negative things may happen, but there are good things to be happy about and grateful for.
15. Show love
Be there for your family and love them.
Take every single opportunity to show them how much they mean to you by doing nice things for them. Soon, you will see them showing love to others too, thereby making their lifestyle an example for their friends on how to be kind.
16. Notice and commend them
Every child wants their parents to NOTICE when they do things right. They want their parents to be proud of them!
However, remind them that kindness is the better choice, even if no one is watching.
17. Teach them empathy
Remind your children to try putting themselves in someone else’s shoes. Ask them to think before saying something about someone – and to consider how they might feel if someone said it to them.
18. Avoid spoiling them
Kind children are also children who are understanding, who knows that mom and dad cannot buy them everything they want.
They have learned to be patient and have self-control because their parents have explained how things work and how life is.
19. Don’t control your child with anger
Though it’s easy to get upset when they misbehave, try not to use anger to manage their behaviour.
Anger makes children shut down and withdraw. Do you remember how you felt when your mom and dad lashed out at you? How did you feel? Didn’t you want to hide?
It’s important to let your child know you’re disappointed. So, instead of getting angry, take a moment to calm yourself down and then speak firmly and clearly to them. This makes sure that you’re showing the perfect example on how to be kind.
20. Give them space to mature
Show your kids the opportunities available to help their siblings and friends and see if they take those opportunities. Pointing them in the right direction goes a long way. Soon your children will be able to spot those opportunities on their own and willingly take them on!
In conclusion, remember the goal is not just to teach your child how to be kind but to have them impact those around them positively so that they have an infectious character that radiates positive energy and kindness all round