Helping kids to be kind
How can you help your child to be kind and to show kindness? There is an art to giving and receiving...
Many children are gentle at heart, but what is not practiced is forgotten, and kindness is a virtue that is also learned. The art of being a good, kind, empathetic and co-operative person is best begun in early childhood.
If children can create an environment of peace around themselves, and not act from a place of selfishness or aggressiveness, they are more likely to be appreciated by others and have healthier self-esteem.
Kind and compassionate children have a greater sensitivity to people, animals and the planet, which results in a better world.
Please read on….Storyberries offers free children’s books, and tips for parents, on the valuable virtue of kindness.
The power of gratitudeChildren who know how to be grateful for their families, the people around them, the toys they play with, the opportunity to study, and for their home, develop more empathy and compassion for other people. A grateful child will often be more likely to show kindness and compassion. Find ways to encourage gratitude in your child daily, and show gratitude yourself to provide them with regular modelling for a grateful attitude to life.
Real acts of kindnessDoing social deeds is also an education in kindness. By watching your example, and joining in as appropriate, children get used to giving empathy and acting in kindness. Raising money for a charity or another good cause, offering our time to collect items for those most in need, raising funds for sick children, or finding homes for abandoned cats and dogs, are just some examples.
It’s fun to do things together!Children are generally very supportive of the people around them, and this is crucial in fostering goodness. They are easily motivated because participation excites them so much. Feeling integrated pleases them and their curiosity gives them wings. Joining in is fun, and if we integrate them into household activities they will gradually acquire the habit of being responsible collaborators. This is very advantageous for them because they then don’t see routine tasks as a burden, but as an activity to enjoy doing together.
Nurturing emotional intelligenceChildren need to be able to recognize and manage their own emotions in order to understand others. We can talk about emotions and feelings with them whenever we have the chance, and also encourage our children to give expression to how they feel. The goal of emotional intelligence is to cultivate goodness, making it grow alongside empathy and love.
Practising patience in communicationThis life-enriching skill can also be one of the most difficult to learn, but it’s all about trying again and again. A patient child can listen to others without being disturbed. Listening does not mean debating or having to agree with what is said; it is about waiting and then finding the right moment to express ourselves.
Loving kindnessUsing many affectionate words and loving, tender gestures (and not only when we want to congratulate or reward) is really important. Spontaneous acts of affection are also a very effective way to convey warmth and kindness. “Just because” moments are easy to foster when children are feeling calm, and they can be very simple – we don’t need to go out of our way to do special things.
‘Please’ and ‘Thank You’ Simha!In this lovely book exploring the importance of good manners, Simha learns that his friends feel happier, and are more willing to co-operate, when he treats them with kindness and good manners.
My Best Friend CrowA beautiful tale of a young girl who feels sad that her grandmother chases away the crows when she feeds the pigeons in the park. Through her acts of kindness Rusty becomes best friends with Crow.
The Fairy GardenThe fairies at the bottom of the garden are delighted to find gifts left out for them by a girl and her golden cat. The kindness of the young girl builds trust and soon they all become friends.
Article by Luzmery M. Romero Gamboa and Fleur Rodgers
Luzmery works in the area of clinical psychology as a psychotherapist for children, adolescents and families. Since 2016, she has run a Psychological Center in Venezuela called Psicoluz. She offers workshop facilitations to parents, is involved in recreational activities for children, and has been working as a freelancer since 2017 performing online psychotherapy.
Fleur is a meditation teacher in France and uses a compassion and loving-kindness based approach to meditation and slow-minded living. Fleur posts regularly to Instagram @rodgers.fleur . She has two children, is a qualified teacher in adult education and is the founder of Timeouttobreathe.com