I know this sounds like an obvious one, but, to teach your child to be kind, you need to be displaying that behavior yourself. I mention this because you're probably thinking, "I always teach my children to be kind!"
But a big part of being kind is showing empathy and trying to see the best in people, even when it's hard.
Do you yell at the car in front of you when they don't get going at a green light? Do you sigh when getting a phone call from someone you don't want to talk to right now? Do you find yourself criticizing people — maybe not people you know but, let's say, celebrities — in front of your kids?
Kids are naturally hard-wired to be kind, but even the tiniest behaviors they see from you or your spouse that teach them it's okay to be mean, judgmental, or exclude people is something they will carry with them.
You know what they say: If you can't say something nice, then don't say anything at all! That applies to your kids, but it applies to you too.
Of course, I don't want to make it sound like you can't ever tell your kids when they're doing something wrong. But the best way to teach your child to be kind is through providing feedback the RIGHT way!
Instead of saying, "Why can't you ever get up for school when you're supposed to?" say, "If you get up for school when you're supposed to, you will have enough time to get ready and that will make things easier for you. Also, when you are running late to school, that makes things hard for me, for your bus driver, for your classmates and for your teachers. You don't want to make things hard for all those other people by being late to school, right? Let's come up with a plan together to make it easier for you to get up on time. What do you think might work?"
This is a great way to teach your child to be kind, because not only are you teaching them to be considerate of others, and explaining the consequences of their actions (that they might not be aware of)...but you're also teaching them that their opinions and ideas are important.
Which, they definitely are!
Last but not least, good manners are an incredibly important but also easy way to teach your child to be kind, which is why I put this tip last. It really goes together with the other two tips, because in order to be a good role model, YOU will say please and thank you, yourself!
Also, it's a really easy way to teach your kids to be considerate of others in a way they can perform constantly, every day. In a way, I think that saying please and thank you is a good shorthand for polite and respectful behavior; saying please and thank you will teach your child to be kind in other ways, too!
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