Lots of parents teach their children how to be successful and happy… but they don’t teach their children to be kind to others. Recent research from Harvard found that 80% of children think their parents prioritise their achievements over caring for others, which means that many children don’t understand the significance of being kind. This can lead to bullying in school (and later the workplace), so it is very important to teach your kids about being kind!
But how exactly can you teach your child to be compassionate? It is actually fairly easy – you just need to do a few simple things! Here are four tips to help you raise kind children.
1. Raising Kind Children: Give Your Child The Opportunity To Practise Kindness
Give your children the chance to practise being kind (instead of waiting for those opportunities to appear). Various studies have found that practising kindness makes people more compassionate, generous and helpful, so this really works – and there are lots of opportunities to practise kindness in daily life! Your child could help their friends with their homework, they could help around the house or they could try to complete a random act of kindness every day. Just make sure that you don’t overly praise them for these acts, as it is important to teach your child that kindness is a standard behaviour.
2. Teach Your Child To Prioritise Caring For Other People
Most parents teach their children about happiness, but it can be useful to teach your child about making other people happy too. This may seem obvious, but many children don’t realise that they are partially responsible for the happiness of the people around them. So take the time to sit down with your child, and explain the power they have over others.
3. Be A Kindness Mentor
Children learn values from their parents, so try to become a kindness mentor for your child. Practise fairness and honesty in front of your child, and bring up occasional ethical dilemmas around the dinner table to make them think more about the effects of kindness. This can be a fun little game, and it also gives you some bonding time, which is a nice little bonus!
4. Make Sure Kindness Doesn’t Only Apply To A Small Group Of People
Most children care about their immediate circle (such as their friends and family), but it is also important to teach your child to be kind to other people. Ensure they are kind and courteous to other people too, such as waiters and teachers, and consider taking them to volunteer once a month. Just make sure you arrange a fun, enjoyable volunteer experience (such as walking a neighbour’s dog), as this means your child will associate being kind with being happy.
Whilst trying to raise kind children can seem overwhelming at times, you’re already actively doing it in your thoughts and actions.