Apart from the physical features, humankind is distinct from other living organisms specifically due to their emotional intelligence. Feelings and emotions for one another is what keeps the society intact, it’s what makes us human. Amongst such feelings of care and concern, kindness as a whole is one such attribute that is extremely fundamental for humankind to coexist.
Even though empathy, kindness and the innate desire to comfort another hurting soul comes naturally and cannot be taught, parents and educators can develop kindness in kids with conscious efforts. How? Here’s how.
Encourage Healthy Manners
You can start by teaching your kids to say “please” and “thank you” at appropriate times. Make sure to explain to them the reason behind doing so so that they don’t feel obligated and instead, be polite naturally.
It is also important to incorporate such behaviours yourself in order to help your kids pick up these mannerisms. Eventually, you’ll notice your kids as more polite and kind ones. Not only will you feel respected at home but also you’ll have the satisfaction that your child is kind outside as well.
Highlight Stories of Kindness
The mainstream media has been highlighting too much negative news. It is thus more important to highlight stories of kindness and humanity to our kids.
Even if this requires you to keep your children away from the harsh news on air, don’t hesitate. Restrict them from watching crime shows and disturbing movies up until a certain age. Too much engagement with such content can create extreme negative impacts on young minds.
Show them incidents of kindness or tell stories about the ones that happened around you. Try to make them curious about such stories. This will eventually instigate acts of kindness in them the next time they find themselves in a similar situation.
Recognise Your Child’s Efforts
Love and attention can make or break a person’s character. It is more than necessary to notice your child’s efforts to be good. Only when you recognise and appreciate their little things, they’ll start moulding themselves in a similar behaviour.
A child who’s loved right treats others right!
Stress On The Significance of Compliments
Compliments are one of the most prominent ways of speaking kindness. Encourage giving and receiving compliments at home. Make sure that the compliments you give to your child are honest and not made up.
Notice little things they did, for instance – making their bed or at least trying to, and give an honest compliment on that. Also, try encouraging them to compliment you when they think you did something good. For example, if you made their favourite dish and they forgot to thank you, try suggesting them hints to compliment you. This will create a habit and they will practice it outside as well.
Volunteer For Good Deeds
It is no new news that children are the best copycats. Participate in social acts of kindness and make your children a part of it. Make them understand the importance of such activities and encourage them to do similar things.
Beside acts of kindness towards the society, practice volunteering at home as well. Encourage other family members to volunteer for household work and appreciate them accordingly. This will encourage the kids to be a participant as well.
Even though empathy and kindness are innate qualities that come naturally, these can be developed in children with conscious efforts. One of the best ways to teach empathy to children is to practice it yourself and highlight it with reasons to them.
Children are likely to ignore such things however if you intentionally tell them why you did an act of empathy you did, they are likely to remember it. This way they will slowly try and emerge as empathetic individuals.
Children might often act rudely when their desires aren’t met or they aren’t heard. Encouraging such behaviour in the name of them being angry or hungry is not the right way to go about it. Instead, be utterly polite with them and make them understand that this behaviour will only land them to punishment and not fulfill their demands.
You may even punish them moderately for behaving inappropriately with others. Such punishments can be a day without TV, etc. This way, they will learn the significance of good behaviour early in life which will be immensely beneficial later.
At Marigold International School, we incorporate numerous thoughtful measures to encourage and develop a kind nature in students. Such behaviour helps them coexist in school and at other places eventually fostering the quality of kindness in them overtime.