Kindness starts at home. Teaching your children how to be kind to others is something you can incorporate into their everyday lives. If you’re not sure how to show your children how to treat others with respect and politeness, the following examples will help:
Please and thank you you go a long way
From an early age, show your children how simple words like “please” and “thank you” can make all the difference in their everyday interactions. Keep in mind that kindness takes practice. The more they’re able to practice being nice and caring, the easier it’ll come. You will need to prompt them at first but after a while they’ll get the hang of it. Also, you will need to be patient. Not all children remember to say “please” before asking for a glass of milk and there will be times when they forget to say “thank you for dinner.” However, that’s not a big deal. As long as your children are polite and kind most of the time, you’ve done a great job.
Show them how to pitch in
Pitching in at home is a great way to show your children how important kindness is. Whether it’s cleaning their rooms or setting the table before supper, pitching in around the house is an act of kindness. You can even assign chores to your children on a chart so they don’t forget what they’re supposed to be doing each day. Pitching in gives your child a sense of pride because they’re doing their share of keeping the house clean. Once they learn to pitch in at home, they’ll pitch in at friends’ houses and at school too.
Volunteering with your child at a senior’s home, soup kitchen or animal shelter can teach them about being kind to others. Even if you only volunteer with your children once a month or every few months, it will help shape their character and show them how important it is to be kind to others. Whether it’s donating old clothes and toys to the less fortunate or picking up trash at their favourite playground, no matter what type of volunteering you do with your children, it can make a big difference.
Don’t reward your children for being kind
Being kind is something your children should want to do on their own. You should be teaching your children that kindness is a virtue and not something that needs to be rewarded. When your children do something nice for someone else, the good feeling that comes from it should be a reward in itself. You can, however, offer acknowledgement when your child performs an act of kindness so they know that you’re proud of them.
Live by example
Children need strong role models, and who better to provide that service than their own parents? If your children see you being kind to others, they will follow suit. Kindness starts with you and children are keen observers. The kinder you are to those around you, the better example you are providing for your children. When you show your children that being polite and caring for others is something that will not only make the person they’re interacting with feel good, but will make them feel good as well, they’ll actually enjoy being nice.
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