Kindness Education: 4 Ways to Teach Your Kids to Help Others
What wisdom can you find that is greater than kindness?
This quote by Jean-Jacques Rousseau stood the test of time and has never been more relevant.
We live in a busy world where technology created to help us connect better actually spurs alienation. Social media is an arena in which people anonymously insult and attack perfect strangers. Needless to say, such rude and often malicious comments can have detrimental effects on victim’s mental health.
You don’t want your kids to suffer like that, but at the same time, you don’t want them to be insensitive bullies either.
The key is in teaching your little ones to be kind, helpful, compassionate, and decent human beings.
Here are some tips on how to instill these traits in them.
1. Be a Role Model
The “practice what you preach” approach is the best way of practically demonstrating to your kids what kindness is and how to help others.
Kids learn by observing and imitating their parents, and significant grown-ups in their environment, which makes modeling kindness early on in their lives is an effective method.
Start with simple things such as comforting someone who’s sad or saying thank you to others, and then introduce some more tangible acts of kindness such as helping people in need, inviting a lonely person over for a holiday meal, or assisting elderly neighbors by bringing them groceries.
But don’t forget about self-care either. Your kids should also learn why it’s important to be kind to themselves – getting enough sleep or asking for support, for example.
2. Teach the Importance of Teamwork
Being a great team player is a skill that your kids will benefit from both in their personal and professional lives.
Again, instead of resorting to preaching, it’s best to use practical examples that will resonate with them. When they go over to their friend’s house for a play date, make sure your kids help their hosts clean up before they go home.
Remind your young ones how they feel when they have to pick up and organize all their toys after a party and explain that it will be much easier if everybody pitched in and picked up some slack together.
Leadership is another important aspect of teamwork as it’s another side of the same coin.
If you’re an entrepreneur at heart you may want your kids and their school friends to get the best character education and learn how to make a positive impact on the local community while you grow your own business. Organizing a school fundraiser is a great idea. There are some great fundraiser franchise opportunities in Missouri, as well as nationwide, where fundraising, leadership, and fitness are combined with philanthropy, so you can check them out and use the best of both worlds.
3. Encourage Them to Volunteer
Sometimes even small acts of kindness can do wonders for a person in need.
By volunteering, your kids can really make a big difference and learn that the secret to true happiness is helping others.
Visit a local nursing home, animal shelter, or soup kitchen with them, and explain how investing only a couple of hours of their time a week can have a tremendous impact on the lives of these people and animals.
This way, your little ones will learn to actively listen to other people and their problems, accept others for who they are, and notice when someone needs help, thus becoming more compassionate and empathetic.
4. Be Patient
Being kind isn’t always easy, and sometimes your kids will make mistakes while they’re trying to be helpful. They will break a mug while cleaning up the table or fail to scrub leftover food from the dishes before washing them.
If you’re constantly criticizing them, they will start feeling unskilled and incompetent. As a result, your kids will be reluctant to offer their help again, not to mention that they will develop negative associations with these activities.
By being impatient, you can ruin these teaching opportunities. Instead of that, allow your kids to take their time, be imperfect, and try to make a small difference – first at home and later on in the outside world.
Teaching your kids to be kind and help others starts at home, which means you should set an example. Be patient and follow these simple tips, and you’ll inspire your little ones to make the world a better place.
- Birthday party: Photo by Vlada Karpovich from Pexels