Today, millennial parents chart out the future of their children in the minutest detail possible. From school to extra subjects to extra-curricular activities, parents see to it that their child doesn’t lag behind anyone in anything. So when so much of time and effort is given to a child’s academic and extra-curricular skills, it is time to put in effort for those basic human skills that are taken for granted. When you encourage kindness in your child, he will feel better not only about the world he lives in but about himself. So how to teach your kids to be kind?
Kindness and compassion, equality and brotherhood many assume are inherent in nature and cannot be taught. But that is not the case. Emotional intelligence also varies from child to child. Like a child is taught mathematics, science, basketball or piano, parents can similarly teach their kids to be kind and compassionate.
The world today requires more than ever for humans to be kind, empathetic, and compassionate. Teaching these to the future citizens of the world should be one of the fundamental duties of the parents. So then how do you teach your child to be kind?
6 Ways to teach your kids to be kind:
1. Teach by example
Children learn the maximum by imitating. They really get confused if they see differently from what they are told. As a parent, you can teach them by becoming good role models. Show them how to share, care, and be sensitive about your surroundings by doing the same. Take them to visit an ailing relative or neighbor. Let them see you talking and treating the household help kindly. They will follow in your footsteps automatically.
Let the little one learn to share. Be it sharing a toy with another child, sharing their favorite food item in the tiffin at school, or sharing a belonging with someone in need. Most of the kids today grow up in nuclear families as an only child. Since they are so used to not sharing anything with anyone, it becomes difficult as adults to share. Teaching them to share from an early age will definitely let them grow up to be kind, compassionate beings.
While having sympathy for those around you is fine, empathizing makes one more considerate and kind. Let your child learn empathy for those around him/her. You can do that by guiding and teaching how he/she would feel if in that person’s situation. Giving a hug to a friend who is sad, inquiring about the well-being of the helpers around, even asking a parent how they are feeling after they come back from work – being aware of everyone around them will help in fostering empathy. And the kindness that stems out of empathy is more heartfelt.
4. Participation and contribution
One cannot be a bystander and be kind. It involves a lot of participation and contribution. Let your child help in household chores. Let them know a tiny bit of cooperation from their end can be a big help to you. Let them pick up plates after dinner, make their own beds, polish their shoes, any activity which will make them feel responsible. Teach them to clean up after a birthday party, a school picnic, participate in neighborhood cleanliness drives, helping out an ailing neighbor with some odd job.
6. Giving compliments
At times a single word of appreciation can make someone’s day. Let your children learn to say thank you and appreciate things that are done for him/her. Compliments for people and things that move them, like saying thank you for a good meal and appreciating the one who cooked it – these small everyday things are part of a kind personality.
7. There’s goodness around
Let your little one see the beauty in the world and people. Show them news of people who are doing good in the world. Let them know how people get together to help others after a natural disaster or during extreme climates. Motivate them to have positive thoughts about doing good and helping others.
Building up, bit by bit, rest assured you are watering a plant that will grow up and give shade to a lot of people under it.
by Tasneem Dhinojwala
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