Being kind is a trait that is often hard to come by. However, there is hope in our society. August 22 is Be An Angel Day. This day is designed to encourage individuals to be kind to those around them. You never know the challenges another individual is going through, and a kind word or deed can completely turn their entire day around.
When children learn how to be kind at a young age, they can be an angel to other individuals throughout their entire life. But sometimes teaching kindness can be a challenge, especially to a wild, rebellious and determined child. Below are four suggestions for teaching kindness to your children and helping them become an angel to those in need.
1. Start in your home
The most effective learning environment for your children is in the home. As a parent, you are their greatest teacher. Your children look up to you and will follow your example. When teaching kindness to your children, begin with yourself. Show kindness to your children, those you associate with and even those you may talk about when they are not around. Your children will learn from your example.
Also, teach your children kindness by their interactions with siblings. Create chores that require teamwork or encourage your children to play together every day. Yes, you may encounter fights and disagreements, but this interaction is one of the best ways to teach kindness and to appreciate each other’s talents, interests and characteristics.
2. Grasp teaching opportunities
When fights and disagreements occur, don’t lose your cool. Use these moments to teach your children how to be kind to one another. Sit them down and replay the situation. Then ask them what they should have done differently. Help them realize that when they are kind, they will receive a different reaction than when they fight and yell.
When taking a close look at your children and yourself, you will find there are times when you say something mean, avoid helping someone in need or do something you are not proud of. When these moments occur, teach your children and yourself there are many better options. When you are aware of these actions, you will be more mindful and willing to stop these poor habits.
3. Praise their efforts
When your children perform kind acts, whether verbally or physically, praise them. Give them recognition and let them know you are proud of the kind decisions they are making. This recognition also helps them realize when they are being kind and doing good. We are all guilty of doing and saying things without thinking them through. But, when we praise our children for their good deeds, they realize what they have done, and it helps them be more aware of their actions at a later time.
Help your children understand that when you are kind to others, you will often receive kindness in return. But when you are rude and inconsiderate to others, you will most likely receive the same response. The way you interact with others can say a lot about you and your character. If your children are having a hard time grasping the concept of kindness, teach them this principle. Sit them down and discuss it. Sometimes, you may have to let them learn it on their own. They may have to deal with a few rude individuals before they understand how to interact with others and receive the response they desire.
When life is hard, and we feel depressed and discouraged, there are angels all around us to help us through these challenges. These individuals know what it takes to be kind, and how it can greatly affect another individual. Kindness is a trait that children need to learn at a young age. It is something that can greatly affect their social interactions and make them a much happier individual. Be an angel and teach your children the importance of kindness and how it can make a difference in their lives.
Courtnie is an editor for FamilyShare.com and has a degree in journalism. She has a slight obsession with running, newspapers and large fuzzy blankets. She currently lives in Idaho with her husband and two sons.