Teaching our kids to be kind tends to begin by example. When you are kind to those around you, or your child is exposed to kindness, that is how they begin to understand what it is. They can see, hear, and often feel the energy kind words and actions emit, and ideally, begin to repeat those actions with their friends. Verbally communicating that your child should be kind, is much different than their experience of, and practice with it. Here are four ways you can encourage kindness in kids.
- Walk the walk. Be the person you’d like you’d like your child to be through example. Your child won’t follow your instruction when it contradicts the examples you set.
- Talk the talk. When talking to your child individually, or to them when they are around their friends, make sure to speak positively, and know how to word things in such a way that everyone feels included and considered with kindness.
- Reward acts of kindness. If your child wants to support a good cause in some way or otherwise goes out of his or her way to do something unconventionally kind, its important to reinforce that behavior with praise, and maybe a little something special.
- Teach empathy. Taking kids outside of their routine to expose them to new experiences and people who differ from them teaches them a lot about their situation, and how it may compare to that of their peers. It’s important to teach children empathy at a young age, so they may practice it, and be an empathetic adult.
If you would like to learn more about bullying, contact Simple Acts of Care and Kindness at 866-459-7225 or visit www.simpleacts.org for additional information.