4 Ways to Teach Your Kids To Be Kind
Today is Social Media Kindness Day, and coming up this weekend is World Kindness Day, so our team at Resurrection Christian School in Loveland thought it would be a great week to talk about the importance of teaching our children to be kind. In today’s world, a little bit of kindness can go a long way, and most of us would agree that we want to raise children that are caring and compassionate.
So what can we, as parents, do to ensure that our children grow up to be kind? Here are some things to keep in mind.
Lead by Example
The most critical way that you can impact your child’s behavior is to lead by example. Children are much more observant than we may realize and will notice when you go out of your way to be kind to someone. It’s important to do more than just teach, telling them to “play nice,” or lecture them when they aren’t. Kindness is something that isn’t taught as much as it is learned. Kids will learn how to be kind as they experience kindness at home and on a day-to-day basis.
Walk the Walk & Talk the Talk
You may be surprised how your kids take note when they see you act in a kind way toward others. Whether it’s other parents from the school, families at church, or a homeless person on the sidewalk. The ways we speak to someone that comes to the door, respond to our children when we’re tired, or take care of those in need are how our children learn to model kindness and treat others with empathy and respect.
Reward Big Acts of Kindness
A great way to encourage kindness in your children is to reward the uncommon acts of kindness that you see — like going out of their way to help someone or setting up a lemonade stand or bake sale to donate to a good cause. Everyday helpfulness or treating each other with kindness should be an all-the-time behavior and not one that necessarily needs to be rewarded, besides with a word of gratitude.
Embrace Opportunities to Teach Empathy
Teaching your children to have empathy for others may be a little more difficult. This requires placing them in situations that may be out of their comfort zone where they can put themselves in someone else’s shoes. This may include volunteering your time at a food bank or homeless shelter, taking part in mission trips to less fortunate countries or communities, and more.
The good news is that kids are born with kindness hardwired into their DNA. God created our little children with pure hearts that are eager to love others — and it’s up to us to nourish that loving-kindness that lives within each and every one of them. This week as we celebrate kindness, how are you displaying kindness in your home and your family? How can you show your children what it means to be kind?
“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”