Yesterday I told you when you should Just Be Kind as a parent. Today, I’m telling you why that’s so important.
I have said this before but raising kind children is my No. 1 goal as a parent.
Not kind in that she gets stomped on and trampled by others.
Kind as in all people are good (unless proven otherwise).
Kind as in help those less fortunate than you.
Kind as in doing nice things for each other because it’s the right thing to do.
So, it’s a fine line to raise girls who are strong yet compassionate toward others. Plus, with twin girls who are very different, being kind comes up pretty much daily.
I’ve done a lot of research, a lot of reading and a lot of thinking about raising kind human beings. So, I’ve narrowed it down to these 6 Ways to Raise Kind Children.
1. Make Being Kind a Rule — Our No. 1 Rule in the house is to Be Kind. Everything pretty much falls under that rule in life.
2. Model Kindness — This is absolutely essential. If we, the parents, aren’t demonstrating kindness in difficult situations how can we expect our children to do the same? This means with words. This means with actions. Listen, I get it. Being a parent is hard some times. Some phases are harder than others. We can still be kind and demonstrate peaceful measures through it all. We can. Just be Kind.
3. Celebrate Kind Deeds — You can bet that if one of my daughters does something kind for someone else — like her sister — I am the first person to point that out to her. Children have to know what kindness means. It’s not enough to tell them to be nice. You have to point out their moments of being nice.
4. Discuss Kindness — One of my favorite conversations in the car after school is who did you see being kind today and what did they do? This gets us all talking about doing nice things for other people. When children recognize other children being kind, they are more likely to be kind as well.
5. Speak Love — People might think we’re crazy but my girls favorite words are love and peace. We brainstorm words all the time so that peaceful words are what come out of our mouths more than hate language. Don’t get me wrong, hate comes up but much less frequently than love.
6. Talk About Differences — Truly the best way to help children be more kind to each other and to adults is to start early about how people are different. I have a future post or two on this topic but for now let’s just keep it at this: Talk about what makes us each beautiful and unique no matter who we are. Explain that even if you don’t like someone, you don’t know what’s going on in their life so respect them.
A Kindness Activity
Looking for a fun project to promote your kindness vocabulary? Create a Word Jar. My daughters called each of theirs a Love Jar and Peace Jar, respectively.
What you need:
- A jar of any kind
- Strips of paper
- Writing tools like pencils, pens or markers
Once you have your jar and paper ready, start brainstorming kindness words to put inside. Start with the word Kind and help each other come up with new words to add as you think of more. Any themes like love, peace and kindness will lead you in a great direction. And, your children will enjoy coming up with new words all the time.
How do you inspire kindness in your own children? I’d love to hear some of your own ideas.
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