#BH5MinFix: 6 Small Ways to Teach Kids to Be Kind
Our #BH5MinFix series is all about sharing tips and tricks for common parenting scenarios and sources of stress. Every week we choose a topic and invite you to share your tips on Bright Horizons’ social channels, and we share our advice as well. This week’s topic: easy ways to teach children to be kind.
The benefits of kindness for everyone involved are endless, among them: less stress, better relationships, fewer squabbles, stronger relationships, and more smiles.
As Jamie commented on our Facebook page, the perfect way for us to teach kindness is through our own actions. As we do so, we have the opportunity to show our kids that kindness doesn’t have to mean making grand gestures, spending a lot of time, or even any money; it happens through the small interactions we have with each other every day.
6 SIMPLE WAYS TO TEACH KIDS TO BE KIND
Smile. As author William Arthur Ward said, “A warm smile is the universal language of kindness.” By seeing you smile at other people (whether it’s your spouse or a next-door neighbor you happen to see while getting your mail), children can learn that a smile can be a powerful way to spread kindness.
Perform your own acts of kindness. When you’re paying for your gas, ask the clerk how their day is going or let someone with fewer items go ahead of you in the grocery store check-out line. You might not think that your child picks up on this type of behavior but they do.
“Teach children how to share.” Helice shared this piece of advice with us on Facebook and we couldn’t agree more. Reading friendship-themed books such as Should I Share My Ice Cream? can be helpful in teaching children how to be generous.
Talk about ways to help friends: If your child’s friend or classmate is having a hard time, ask your child for ways she thinks she might be able to help. This can be a very useful way to teach them how to build meaningful friendships. You might ask, “How do you think Sam feels?” “What do you think you can do to help?”
Validate positive behaviors: When you see your child treat someone with kindness or care, express your appreciation. Say, “I noticed how patient you were when Kate was feeling frustrated. I think that really made her feel better.”
Celebrate the helpers. When you hear about someone doing a kind deed for other people, share the story with your child, recommends Parents.com. It will get them thinking about the acts of service they could do themselves.
How about you? We’d love to hear your tips on how you teach your child to be kind. Share what’s worked for your family in a comment below.
- Family Room Blog: Sibling Rivalry: How to Teach Children to Be Kind
- Parenting Webinar: Raising a Socially Responsible Child, Part 1 & Part 2 & Part 3
- E-family news: Raising Caring & Giving Children