How to Teach Your Child Kindness


Can we really teach kindness? It’s not going to be as simple as teaching your kids the ABCs or how to count from 1 to 10, but yes we can; and it is every parent’s responsibility to raise a loving, considerate, and kind child.

According to Dr. David Schonfeld (Director of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital), “The desire to help is innate. At first, children like to help others because it helps them get what they want. Next, they do s o because they get praise. Finally, they begin to anticipate the needs of others, and it becomes intrinsically rewarding to do nice things for people in their lives.”

The bottom line is, kids want to help and that is one great way to start encouraging kindness. The key is to be a good role model.

Try these 7 simple ways on how to teach your kid kindness:

1. Give your child the opportunity to care for a pet. By doing so, you give him/her the responsibility when it comes to the well-being of another life. Take this chance to also coach your child in caring for the pet. Let him know of the behavior and expressions that tell us how the animal is feeling. Show him you appreciate his gestures when he acts in a sensitive manner.

2. Say “Thank you” when your child does something caring toward you. It is also important that you tell him how his act made you feel.

3. “Movie time” isn’t just a great bonding for you and your child. It may also serve as a chance for you to talk about how a character must feel regarding specific scenes.

4. When you come across an upset friend, give him a hug and let your child know why you did it. Kids can learn compassion and respect by watching how you respond to others.

The rest of the 7 ways are on the next page…

More on 7 ways to teach your kid kindness…

5. Get your kids involved in activities such as sending flowers or cakes when a family member or a friend gets sick. Take them along when you deliver the gifts, too. Let your child experience how good it feels to brighten up someone’s day.

6. Walking at the park may give you an opportunity to teach your child respect for the earth. You see that old newspaper and used coffee cup which were left on a park bench? Get it and throw it away. Share your thoughts about how good you feel after taking care of a mess you weren’t really supposed to clean up.

7. Teach your kids to acknowledge how bountiful their blessings are and let them think of people whom they want to share it with. When you cook and you have more than enough, let your child take some to an elderly neighbor. You may also encourage them to donate some of their toys and books to an orphanage.

What I aimed for here is to give out guidelines, tips or even suggestions if you may but I still feel that the best way to teach your kids kindness is to be the kind person you’d want your kids to be when they grow up. because like how the saying goes, “Children are great imitators so give them something great to imitate.”

Image source page 1: “Image courtesy of marin/”
Image source page 2: “Image courtesy of photostock/”

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