Kindness is something that we all love when it’s directed at us, but how many of us really go out of our way to give back? Whether you pay it forward or not, you need to ensure that your children know just what a difference it makes to the world they are set to inherit.
Being kind for the sake of it isn’t just something a few kindhearted souls do because ‘that’s the way they are.’ It’s a key life skill we all need to practice and develop. If you want to help your little one do the same, take a look at the following hints and tips.
Make sure they know about bullying
If you need to prevent bullying, there’s perhaps a no better way than to teach your child the art of kindness. Being kind is the polar opposite of bullying and it’s vital that your kids see it’s so much rewarding and enjoyable.
Just because someone is different or acts in a way the rest of the group think is strange, doesn’t mean you have to vilify them for it. Make sure they know when they’ve crossed the line between gently poking fun at their friends in a give-and-take style relationship and outright bullying. Their life will be all the better for it.
Share the wealth
If you’re fortunate enough to have a life where money is never an obstacle, make sure your kids are aware that that’s not the case for everyone. If you’re someone of modest means, show your little one that giving back to the community is something everyone should do.
Simply by sharing what you have with a stranger and letting your child see you do it, you can leave a powerful mark on them that will last a lifetime. If we all did that, the world would be a better place, wouldn’t it?
Tell them about misfortune
With the online world polarizing people’s opinions like never before, it’s all too easy to become virtuous and sanctimonious in everything you say and do. That’s why it’s never been more important to ensure that your kids know about the role misfortune plays in many people’s lives.
If they see a homeless person, make sure they know that what they’re seeing is another human being. Often all it takes in life are a few moments to change the course of things, so make sure your children understand everyone has a story and a past that’s far more complicated than a first impression. It’ll stop them from rushing to judgment and hurting other people’s feelings.
Learn to love the environment
It’s everyone’s planet so make sure you teach your child to respect it just as they would a friend’s house where they were staying on the weekend. Teach them about recycling, picking up litter and reusable products so they can be kind to the whole world by caring for the environment.
Show them how hard work pays
Working hard and setting an example are two of the most important things a parent can do to aid their child’s development. If you want to raise someone who will grow up into a kind, productive, generous member of society, you need to show them that when they work hard for the sake of other people it will make them feel so much better. Once they get used to seeing you do it, they’ll think nothing of offering to help a friend in need or taking an extra shift to help out.
Talk about the value of teamwork
Teamwork is so important in many aspects of life and kindness is one of the key things that allows it to function. Without a kind and diligent team, everything would be so mercenary and routine. Kindness is what allows someone to offer something without expecting anything in return. Because it was done out of pure sincerity and generosity, it’ll virtually always be repaid in the same generous spirit.
Do something kind for them every day
A kind child is a happy child. There’s plenty of research emerging to back that up. If you want to make your child kind and well-adjusted, you need to give them little things to be thankful for throughout the day. Little gestures that make them smile will remind them of how good it feels when someone you love helps you out without you having to ask.
Teach them to look on the bright side
The bright side of life is where good things happen and sometimes it’s the place you need to take yourself when life is getting hard. By showing your child the importance of being kind to yourself, as well as to others, you can equip them with the coping mechanisms that will allow them to flourish as they make their own way in the world.
Resist the urge to criticize when they fail
Criticism is such a natural urge for many of us, so much so that it often feels hardwired into our psyche. By taking a breath, allowing your child to fail, and then encouraging them when they get back up you can give them the confidence that they need to do good in the world.
Ask them why they think other people get sad
It might seem hard to know why people are unkind but scratch the surface and it will become painfully obvious why someone is acting the way they are. If you can get your child to think about why people are acting the way they are, rather than simply concluding that some people are ‘bad’ and others are not, you’ll be well on the road to raising the kind and generous adult you can be proud of.
Raising a kind and loving child is all about treating them in a way that shows them that kindness is a central part of a long, happy life. It’s about taking the time to get to know your child and showing them the world is a place that will welcome them with open arms. All they have to do is extend the same courtesy to everyone else.