Our society needs people to be kinder, to realize that we are social beings and that we need to help each other altruistically in order to live well together. At the same time, it is necessary to be aware that attacking other people will never be a good thing for them or for yourself.
Unfortunately, these days , both children and adults often have nasty comments. We live in a shallow age where photos and posts on the Internet often have almost instant and anonymous comments from strangers and acquaintances alike. These reactions can be rude, have you ever read any of these comments? Probably yes. It is important for parents to teach children to be kind to others and what it means to be kind.
Society needs more kindness
Judging others seems to be an activity that everyone does… it’s easy to post comments about other people, whoever they are. Cruelty is not new; it has been done since ancient times. But today, the ease, speed and virtual anonymity, make that people can make judgments about others are unprecedented. Children are learning what they see around them.
Children focus on the present and do not think much about the consequences of the future, so they may not realize the full effects of behavior such as meanness, exclusion, or bullying on other children. They are by nature self-centered, this means that they will not always be able to put themselves in someone else’s shoes or make a conscious effort to think about how another person might feel, that is, to have empathy.
That doesn’t mean, however, that children are naturally evil. In fact, children are hardwired to have empathy for others and they want to help. Parents, caregivers, teachers, and other adults can tap into these natural instincts and encourage children to think about other people’s feelings before acting and teach them how to practice kindness in their daily lives.
Ways Parents Can Encourage Kindness in Children
To encourage kindness in children, it is important to incorporate some of these practices into their daily routines:
- Be good to others. Children need reminders about how to put themselves in someone else’s shoes. Tell your child to think before saying something about someone … How would he feel if he discovered that someone else was making fun of him or criticizing him for not knowing how to do something right? Would you want someone to praise you for trying or reject you for not doing something? Would you want someone to compliment you on something you do or would you want someone to make fun of what you do? Teaching empathy is a key part of teaching children kindness.
- If you’re not going to say something nice, you better shut up. Saying nothing if you don’t have anything good to say about someone is necessary for children to learn. Teach your child to get used to saying nice things – the kind of things that would make someone feel good instead of sad. Teach your child not to say anything when he has a negative opinion about something.
- Use kind words. It’s a good idea to get children into the habit of being friendly and saying something nice to someone. You will have to be a good example and be nice to the people you interact with throughout the day. Let your child see how you say good things to other people … I know the behavior you want to see in your child about kindness.