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Every parent wants their child to grow up to be more than just a functional adult. Being functional is all well and good, but there is more to life than that. How your child treats other people should be a big part of raising them. Teaching children that they are not the only ones with valid feelings is an important lesson for them. Here are a few ways to help you raise children who are kind to others and put them on the right path as they grow up.
Model Kindness in Your Own Actions
Children copy their parents’ behaviors; that’s a well-known fact. What’s important to remember is that they will copy your good behaviors as much as the negative ones. If kindness is important to you, you need to show your child how to be kind. Go out of your way to help someone in need. Set up a donation pickup with the Purple Heart Pickup, and explain how your donations will go on to help others. If you can show your child that being kind to others is something you value, they will begin to value it too.
Explain How All People Have Their Own Feelings
Empathy doesn’t always come easy to every child. Once they are old enough to realize that the world doesn’t revolve around them, you may have trouble with them putting their own feelings above everyone else’s. One of the best ways to raise children who are kind to others is to explain to them how other people’s feelings matter just as much as theirs do. Make sure you also explain how your child’s actions can seriously impact the feelings of those around them.
Acknowledge When They Are Kind
It isn’t enough to just tell your children what to do; they also need positive reinforcement when they do the right thing. For smaller examples, such as clearing the dinner table or not interrupting someone, a simple and genuine thank-you will do. When they really go out of their way to do something kind, make sure you acknowledge it in a major way. However, don’t fall into the trap of giving them something they want whenever they’re kind, as this can make them focus more on reward than a genuine desire to be nice.
Be Wary of Their Media Consumption
Media plays a huge part in most children’s development nowadays. It’s hard to get away from digital media entirely, but you can try to monitor their media consumption so that you know what they’re consuming. Plenty of media can teach children the wrong lessons about kindness and compassion, and you need to be ready to counteract these bad teachings when they pop up to help your child develop a healthy relationship with their feelings.