“To be kind is more important than to be right,”– Buddha. As a mom, I want to raise my child, as quoted above, which most parents want. First of all, kudos to you. It’s beautiful to know that you love to raise kinder kids in this fast-paced world. I am sure you are one, so will be your kids too.
Kindness shows our support or concern to others through our words or actions, and it not only benefits the receiver but also improves the mental health of the giver. Many of you might have felt more positive and good after showing empathy or kindness to others.
Have you ever noticed it? It’s because of “The physical feeling(“helper’s high”) that accompanies giving. Helper’s high happens due to the release of endorphins which helps to improve our children’s physical and emotional health.” Says Dale V.atkins, Amanda R.salzhauer, Greater Good Magazine.
Creating a world of Kindness is the greatest asset we can give to our future generations. Isn’t it? Come on, Let’s check if you have missed some of the simplest yet effective ways of raising kinder kids!
1. Model the act of Kindness
Model what you want to see in them. If you do that slowly, it will develop into a habit. Making them understand that Kindness gives happiness to both the giver and receiver is a job half done. Please include your child when you perform small acts of kindness like making food for your sick neighbour, providing shelter for a stray cat or dog on a rainy day, giving away their used toys.
2. Encourage using polite words
When you talk to your child politely and kindly, they will pick it from you. Use polite phrases like ”Please”,” Thank you”,” Sorry”,” Excuse me” as much as possible. Moreover, make sure that your child always addresses others respectfully.
3. Catch them being kind
When you see them hugging their friend, saying “Sorry” after a minor quarrel or doing any small and uncommon act of kindness, tell them that “I appreciate you and your kind heart”. Appreciation or praise can motivate them more to continue with the same
4. practice gratitude
“The habit of being grateful starts with appreciating every good thing in life and recognising that there is nothing too small for you to be thankful for.” Says, Forbes.com. Teach your child to practice gratitude, even if it’s the simplest.
Keeping a gratitude journal is the best way to practice gratitude. After your dinner or bedtime, you can sit with your child and ask about his day, what your kid enjoyed doing that day, what made him laugh and feel good. You can tell them about what you feel grateful for also. That can help them more with their gratitude practice, and you both will surely love this time spent together.
Teach them to be kind not only to the circle of people they know but also to a newcomer in their class or someone speaking a different language. Make them understand what “Unity in Diversity” and Inclusion are and how nice it is to make others feel good.
Ask your child, “What would that feel like if that has happened/someone did that to you?” when they don’t play gently with other kids or when someone is suffering. Tell them to pause for a moment and imagine the particular scenario, then think of how polite they can be in that situation to make others feel good. If your child is a toddler, make them familiar with the types of emotions and help them understand. Tell them that it’s okay to show emotions when you feel happy/sad/angry/frustrated but in an appropriate way.
7. Practice self-love
Self-love is the most important of all. “Being kind to yourself, may it be following an exercise routine or meditation pattern, eating healthy, reading books or gardening, you need to do what makes you feel good” is the best way to show/tell them that if you can kind to be yourself, you can be kind to others too.
8. Reading books
Reading books related to kindness and empathy will give them a clear idea of it. Make sure you discuss the characters and how you would have reacted in the place of a particular character, and ask them to speak about the same. Below are some fantastic books suggested by Huff post.com to read with your kid.
“The Invisible Boy” – this story highlights the power of friendship and inclusion.
“All are welcome” – This book celebrates different cultures around the world and educates kids about various traditions and customs.
“Be Kind” – The protagonist of this story tries to follow her mother’s advice to be kind and learns what compassion in action looks like.
“A Sick Day for Amos McGee” – This award-winning book shows the value of selflessness and caring for one another.
“Superheroes Club” -The heroes of this story strive to find different awesome ways to help others and show that kindness may be the best superpower.
“I Walk With Vanessa” – In this story, readers see that small acts of kindness can inspire whole communities and make a huge difference.
“Just feel” – This book helps kids learn to understand and navigate their own emotions — and thus cultivate empathy.
9. Help Them Understand The Power Of Giving
“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give”– Winston Churchill
Let your child understand that givers are the happiest people. We all know that, according to the law of giving, give before you receive, and it will come back in a form that’s best suited and beneficial for you. Ask your child to give anything they can, a smile, a hug, time or knowledge.
Carry out a random act of kindness, with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you– Princess Diana
10. Acts Of Kindness To Try
Last but not least, small acts of kindness will make them feel good about themselves. We can make our children happy by asking them to try the below simple things.
- Tell your mom and dad that you love them
- Give a compliment to your sibling
- Give a thank you note to a friend or teacher
- Pick up litter in the park
- Keeping the door open for someone.
- Volunteer at a retirement home or homeless shelter.
- Planting trees at public places
- Run a lemonade stand for charity.
- Donate your savings for those who need
- Make or buy food for those who need it.
When I was preparing this blog post, I asked my 5-year-old what Kindness is. He replied that ” Kind people always care for others whether they are good or not, without being rewarded.” Dumbstruck I am!
Have you missed any of the above? If you incorporate the above effective ways, undoubtedly, we can create a more peaceful world with kinder kids and kindness everywhere.
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Thank you and See you all again!