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Teaching Kindness to Our Children

By []Kevin Goh

Kindness comes from within. It is a sign of love, respect and concern. Showing compassion and gentleness towards others help children form and maintain positive relationships and maintain friendships. In turn, children feel important and acknowledged, and become confident individuals. As parents, you can start by helping children care for themselves, for others, for a pet or a special thing. Points to consider when encouraging kindness in young children:

1. Model behaviours that you wish your children to practise. Example - letting them know that you are there and that they are not alone, listen to them when they wish to talk, forgiving them if they hurt you without meaning to, doing what you can to help them when they have difficulties completing a task, etc.

2. Help children express their feelings. Guide them in using appropriate words and give them ample time to think about acceptable behaviours under different situations.

3. Build on-going nurturing relationships. This is far more important to emotional and intellectual development than academic drills and educational games.

4. Demonstrate non-aggressive and kind methods of communication with both children and adults.

Activities for Parents.

1. Feeling the Kind Deeds - Help children identify and verbalise personal feelings when someone is kind to them, or when they are kind to others. - Help children recognise different ways of showing kindness to others.

Visit a park or shopping mall with the children to observe the type of kind deeds that others are doing to each other. Talk about how each action makes each person feel. Have the children express how they feel as they witness what happened.

Show children some pictures on greeting your neighbours and someone got hurt, and discuss about how "greeting others politely" is a way of showing kindness; and what a person should do when someone is in pain.

Encourage children to identify 2 ways that they can show kindness to the people they meet the next 2 weeks.

2. Kind Deeds - Help children appreciate what is acceptable and unacceptable behaviours.

Prepare a list of pictures with different behaviours whether good or bad and have children to identify the kind deeds that they should try to do.

3. Helping Hands - Help children develop an awareness of themselves in relation to showing kindness to their family members.

Have them identify members in the family and tell how each of them uses their hands to []show kindness at home.

Include ways that they might help each of the family members.

Together with children, organize a plan to share responsibilities in household chores.

4. A Gift for Another - Provide an opportunity for children to experience the pleasant outcomes of being to another person.

Plan a visit to a child who is not feeling well or an elderly in the neighbourhood or in a home. Have the children make a gift that would benefit the person or cheer him or her up.

Kevin Goh. []Working From Home Parent.

Help Your Child to Become A Reading Genius.

Parents can use Genius Books to enhance your children's creativity, imagination, self-expression and develop their own sense of morality and ethical code.

Article Source: [] Teaching Kindness to Our Children


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