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Kindness goes a long way. It not only creates a peaceful atmosphere but also helps people connect. This is why parents must teach children to be kind. But how should they remind them of the risks?

It doesn’t cost anything to be kind.

This quote should resonate with everyone regardless of age. Kindness is an essential quality people must embody, given its significant influence on people’s lives and the world around them. It’s a characteristic that allows people to heal what they don’t even know is broken, a wholehearted and pure way of looking at the world with love and gentleness.

To adults, there isn’t a cost to be kind. They won’t lose anything whenever they choose to be more compassionate, generous, and empathetic when interacting with each other. However, in a child’s world, kindness can increase their chances of being in dangerous situations.

When even adults can be taken advantage of by people who disguise their ill intentions, how can they teach children to be kind without compromising their need to be cautious?

How They Learn Things Is Unlike How Adults Do

At their age, children are either all or nothing. This means that when parents teach them a concept, they don’t know how to limit its execution.

Children have yet to understand the concept of boundaries. When taught kindness, they may show it to the non-living and become generous even to the wrong person. Hence, while it’s important to teach children to be kind, they must also be reminded of certain limitations. This helps them avoid dangerous situations while still growing to be good individuals.

Kindness is said to be a natural human response. This makes it inherent within children, their first instinct in any situation. But with their playful nature, they must still be honed toward perfecting the quality. Although natural within everyone, it won’t always be an expected behavior within children. Additionally, with their lack of boundaries, they must be reminded of what should and shouldn’t.

Here are some tips to help find the balance in teaching children this quality:

How to Teach Children to Be Kind

Sarah Gourd details what kindness can be from a child’s lens in her book Bing. It reflects children’s natural affinity for animals and their instinct to do good above anything else. Through its eye-catching images and enticing narrative, Bing can be a means to teach children to be kind. In fact, reading children’s books is an effective way to do so.

Demonstration is vital when it comes to teaching children behavior. Reading can be a way for them to learn and imitate. By seeing how the behavior unfolds and its possible effects, they can better understand the importance of these actions. This not only helps them grasp what needs to be done but also expands their awareness of situations and their behaviors.

Aside from exposing them to suitable materials, how else can parents teach children to be kind?

Start with Their Emotions

Kindness is an expression of love and is motivated by happiness. Hence, to teach children to be kind, adults must first teach them about emotions. This encourages them to connect with others genuinely and helps them manage their feelings and how they express them. Children love to express themselves through actions and movement. Hence, teaching them to understand their emotions is a way to encourage them to express themselves better.

Help Them Read Other’s Cues

Children won’t know when and how to be kind unless they know when someone needs it. Beyond letting them understand their emotions, children must also be taught about others’ feelings and how they express them. It’s essential to recognize that everyone has different reactions. They don’t always show the same emotions similarly. Hence, children must understand how others’ emotions work like their own to teach children to be kind.

Empathy begins with understanding others without judgment. Kindness begins when children learn to read and grasp the differences in their behaviors. This can be done by watching movies or reading books and slowly breaking down the characters’ feelings.

Be Empathetic With Their Feelings

Given how demonstration plays a massive role in teaching children kindness, adults must remember to be empathetic toward them. They must be aware of how they respond to children’s emotions. To teach children to be kind, they must be shown how kindness feels. They must feel love to be loved. Hence, adults must connect with children and validate their feelings. This not only demonstrates what it means to be kind. But it also allows them to realize how good it feels to receive this treatment.

Expose Them to Nothing but Kindness

Children first learn to navigate the world at home. They observe how their families interact and apply what they see to others. It’s a good idea to teach children to be kind by exposing them to nothing but kindness at home. This forms a habit of being friendly and using kindness in any aspect of life. Let children see kindness every day, and they’ll learn to practice it in any way.

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