We all want to raise kind children. But kindness is a lesson and childhood is pretty much made up of a thousand different life lessons thrown into what is really a short space of time. It can often be skipped over, but recent years have highlighted the importance of teaching kindness.
Our kids will not always be kind. But, creating a culture of kindness in our families is not only an important trait to instil in our kids, but can also be quite a bit of fun. We may assume they know what it means to be kind but as with anything new, it’s a good idea to make sure they understand what the power of kindness involves.
What Is Kindness?
In fact, it doesn’t hurt for us to really think about what it means to be kind to ourselves. Kindness is an act or a tendency to be kind, respectful, and thoughtful. It is about being sympathetic and emphatic, and can be summed up as listening to, understanding, and respecting the needs of one another.
Teaching Random Acts of Kindness
With anything in life, the more we do something the more it becomes second nature to us. Embedding a kindness habit in our kids comes from us teaching the importance of random acts of kindness and how exactly they can be kind to their friends, relatives, or those in need.
To show kids how random acts happen, do something for them which may be out of the norm - something kind and noticeable. Ask them why you did it and if they don’t know the answer, tell them you simply wanted to be kind. In this way, you are teaching them that there is no explicit motivation behind your action except to merely be kind.
Set An Example
It is natural for our children to learn from our actions. They trust us and look up to us. So when we are given the opportunity to perform a random act of kindness, do it. The kids are likely watching and will be guided by our actions. Simple acts such as letting someone go before us in the queue at the supermarket, or holding the door for someone, shows not only kindness but also respect and consideration.
Encourage Their Kindness
When you see an opportunity for them to randomly be kind, encourage them. Start at home with family. They could set the table for dinner even though it is their sister's job. They could write inspirational chalk messages on the path or make a get-well card for someone. Not everyone is reciprocal of our random acts of kindness, so ensure your child is not disheartened when they don’t receive a positive response. Keep encouraging them.