Ways to teach your kids kindness

Kids have an inborn capacity for kindness. For example, they naturally identify with stuffed animals, pets and so on. Now is the time to develop this important skill.

Here’s how to teach kindness in small, daily doses:

Show them

Teaching kindness doesn’t mean lectures. It is part of day-to-day life and you showing them how. For example, your child wants to be friendly but ends up grabbing the baby roughly. Instead of shouting at him to be gentle, take his hand and show him physically what a gentle touch is.

Mind your manners

Being respectful to others is an important skill your child will need throughout his life. It starts with good manners, such as saying ‘thank you’, ‘please’ or a smile. Teach them this from a young age.

Take notice

Children want their parents to notice when they are doing things that are nice. They want their parents to be proud of them. Say for example you see your child sharing sweets with his friend. Say something like, ‘What a good friend you are,’ or ‘That was very kind’.

Say my name

Children often name-call others when they are angry. Irrespective of whether it’s learnt from watching TV or imitating what they heard their friends say, name-calling is a form of bullying. Say for example you hear your toddler calling his sister ‘stupid’. Say something like, ‘We don’t call other people bad names’, or ‘I don’t like it when you use that word.’ Then, without raising your voice, explain that words can hurt and make other feels bad. You might say, ‘How do you feel when your sister calls you a bad name?’ Remember, your toddler might not even understand the meaning of the word; the bigger issue is to make him aware of being sensitive to others’ feelings.

Use stories

Reading books or watching appropriate TV programmes together is a great way to teach kids about kindness. If you see something positive on television, point out how the character helped someone else out of a bad situation.

Read more: Jumpstart your child’s confidence

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