Kids are both kind and cruel. Praising the one and stopping the other is every parent’s job. . Kindness strengthens #emotionalintelligence.
There is much talk about random acts of kindness. and these are good. But better still are practicing deliberate acts as well. The two go together.
Parenting Tip One: Start with manners . Manners (not the hoity-toity which spoon goes where manners, but the basic ones) are kindness based. Holding the door for the person behind you, sharing an umbrella, helping someone across the street, thanking someone who helps you, cleaning up after yourself and others are what I mean by basic manners.
You can start teaching these as soon as you child starts to walk.
I pick up trash along the hiking trails I walk and in various parks. My grandchildren have learned to do the same.
Toddlers can also be taught to the ASL sign for Thank you. Hand to mouth and then down toward the heart.
Parent Tip Two: Encourage charitable giving. Four and five-year olds love to put coins in charity boxes. do not pass up an opportunity to teaching giving when you see a charity box. Most cash out counters now include one.
Some families have a charity bank at home and have the kids put part of any money they are given in the box. Then the kids help give it to some one in need.
Parenting Tip Three: Encourage volunteering for good causes. A teen interested in animals can volunteer at an animal shelter; one interested in becoming a health professional can volunteer at a hospital; one interested in making the world more beautiful can volunteer with the local parks department.
Parenting Tip Four: Have family take part in fund-raising events. Walks are the most common, but others abound and offer family time bonding.
Parenting Tip Five: Teach that kindness is its own reward and not dependent on other people’s response. As parenting guru David Elkind points out, “Self esteem is built by feeling you are a good person, doing good deeds.
STAYING STRONG Exercise
You can get a digital copy of the Kindness poster free at the EFTI Store. Download it and post it where you will see it throughout the day. Every time you see it, take a calming breath, recall or plan an act of kindness; feel the warmth kindness creates in your being; take another calming breath, smile, and go about your day seeking always to be kind.
Teach your children to do the same.
Thank you for all you do
You can practice kindness right now by liking, commenting or sharing. Do so gives me hope that what I do matters and keeps me going.
P.S. This has nothing to do with this Daily WordPress Prompt
Fright Night: What’s the thing you’re most scared to do? What would it take to get you to do it?
However, I am about to publish a new Emotional Fitness Training Book: Defanging Fear. Watch for it. If you are interested in reviewing it let me know and I will send you a draft. You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org