Tag Archives: Ten Tips

WHAT KEEPS KIDS FROM BEING KIND?

This post offers ten teaching kindness tips. Kindness is a major path for strengthening children’s emotional fitness, but some say it is a lost art. Not so. 

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Cyber Bullying:Just another sign of the attack on kindness. IMAGE BY: Do Something.

Watch the news and  kindness does seem to be a lost art. Mean girls, Nasty boys, Me-ism, bullying, Cyber bullying, domestic violence, murders, mass murders. tyranny,  wars where all is fair so children die. 

Here is a link to a brief article posted on  Kevin, MD’s blog.  Kevin is one of my favorite internet doctors. He hosts many other doctors as guest bloggers.  This one  appeared first in the Physician and was written by Jordan Grumet.  

We must relearn how to practice basic kindness.

I particularly liked this quote:

Am I any better?  I have given myself a pass.  I have used the nobility of a profession to deny the basic humility of grass-roots kindness.  How many times have I refused a donation to some odd cause or another by thinking, “Haven’t I given enough?”

Yet there is a strange lightness of heart that comes from the unrequired act of selflessness.

PARENTING THOUGHTS ABOUT TEACHING KINDNESS

Parents are the first purveyors of kindness.  For about ten years, they have the power to influence.  However, parental power steadily diminishes when children move into the world around them. By the time the teens are being entered, the layers of surrounding influence dominate.  When those influences do not support sharing, caring, and kindness,  cruelty becomes the norm.

Those surrounding layers include the extended family, peer groups, the neighborhood,  school, class, media, and finally, the national culture.  The more each layer agrees about a value, the more power that value gains over all individuals. Sadly, far too many of the surrounding layers found in western culture, particularly as driven by the media, do not value kindness.  Happiness has supplanted the Golden Rule, or so it seems.

But there is some hope, for as Grumet notes, “Yet there is a strange lightness of heart that comes from the unrequired act of selflessness.”

That lightness of heart of heart can be nurtured and strengthen by all who care about a child.

TEN PARENT TIPS FOR TEACHING KINDNESS

Tip one: As always you must live the values, you want your child to live.  So be kind, be kind, be kind.

Tip two: As soon as your child becomes mobile, supervise and squelch any acts of cruelty. Children need to be taught not to hurt.  They cannot obey a rule they do not yet understand.

Hurting others in the very young is either accidental or a power play to get their own way.  Accidental hurts, need stopping with the brief explanation. “That hurts, stop.”

Power plays leading to hitting, pushing, or otherwise hurting another living being if not stopped instantly with the words “Stop hurting” need to be punished.  Time outs are the proper punishments at this age.

As a child moves toward the teen years replace the time out chair with thinking it over time somewhere quiet and then making an amends to the victim.

Tip three:  Manners are kindness formalized. Teach good manners and start early.  You want the words please, thank you embedded in your child’s brain. And just as important you want  consideration of others to be a strong habit before first grade. 

Tip four: Catch and praise every act of kindness. 

Tip five: Make your practice of giving to charities visible to your child. Many stores now have charity boxes.  Start the little ones feeding those boxes.   Expect the teens to do the same.  Have your kids participate donations  you make to Good Will, the Salvation Army,  Toys for Tots or other charities. 

Tip six: If you tithe, tithe your kids allowance and have them decide where their tithes go. 

Tip seven:   Volunteer as a family at the charity of your choice.

Tip eight: Actively share a kindness philosophy. “But for the grace,” “All God’s children,” “Sharing our luck.” “Caring is sharing,”

Tip nine: Use the media to talk about kind behavior versus cruel behavior including global injustice.

Tip ten: Actively promote global justice  and let your child know what and how you work towards peace on earth for all.

STAY STRONG

Cruelty is part of human nature or there would have been peace on earth since the beginning of time.  Still, every individual act of kindness matters. The receiver is nourished, but so is the giver.

Katherine

P.S.  Feeling like a wall flower once again.  Oh, the pain of those long ago memories.  Seems I am the only one attending my Facebook Birthday Party and Book launch.  Many have liked the idea, so trying to cheering myself up with the belief that even if you did or do not sign up for the event, you will join me on Facebook on March 21.   Still it would be an act of kindness to say you will drop by. 

 

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NOW OR THEN?

TOPIC: NOW IS ALL YOU HAVE

Fiddler on the Roof is my favorite musicals. Partly because I am a Jew. But mostly because the story is a universal one about life struggles, parenting struggles, the need for tolerance and to keep being who you are while trying to make the world a better place for all.

Sun rise or sun set. The days go quickly. Enjoy the now.

The lyrics of this song form today’s topic.

 
Is this the little boy I carried
Is this the little boy I played
I don’t remember growing older
When did they
When did she get to be a beauty
When did he grow to be so tall
Wasn’t it yesterday when they were small
Sunrise, sunset, sunrise, sunset
Swiftly go the days
Seedlings turn overnight to sunflowers
Blossoming even as we gaze
Sunrise, sunset, sunrise, sunset
Swiftly fly the years
One season following an other
Laden with happiness and tears.

David and I have given our kids much to complain about–try 300 plus brothers or sisters for a starter. Nevertheless, we have been there for our boys , and David has been a hands on ever loving father.  In fact we left our careers mid-stream so both of us could be hands-on parents.

Any parent who thinks not being there is okay, is dead wrong. Not a problem for most parents, but finding time is.  Tough,but ou can make time if you have your priorities in order.

I am not suggesting parents do as we did, that was really a bit extreme.  Worked out for the most part.

Also, I am fully aware that for some parents it is best not to be hands on full time.  As I have been known to say, I burned my bra to give more people, more choice.  Didn’t work our that way.  The hope of the 50’s and 60’s was that technology would free us, not tether us more tightly to the work world.

WHAT IS A PARENT TO DO?

Tip one: The concept of quality time is a good one.  Weekends are time to spend quality time with your loved ones, to insist everyone have “me-time.”

Tip two:  Insist part of the “Me-time” also be quiet time.  I remember lying under a tree with my Mom, and her telling me, “Be still and listen to the world.”   I also remember some nights when she and my father got my brothers and I up to go for a night walk.  That was another time we were told to be quiet so we could listen to the world.

Tip three: The earlier you start the idea of quality time, Me-time, and Silent time, the more it will be come part of your child’s life. 

Tip four: Make  certain each child has time alone with each parent.  It can be as simple as one parent talking and reading the bed time story.   If children share a bedroom and go to bed at the same time, arrange another private time.  The time alone is essential.

Tip five: As the child ages arrange date nights,  date breakfasts, date walks.  These do not have to be weekly, in fact they will be more special if  the dates are every two or three weeks or even once a month.

Tip six: Disconnect electronically during the date and make a big thing about doing so.  Teens connected? They must disconnect also.

Tip seven: Money need not be involved.  In fact, fun time together without spending money teaches a useful lesson. I do remember, however, having ice cream dates with my father.  We would walk to the ice cream store and have a sit down scoop of our favorite chocolate.

Tip eight: Don’t make dates you cannot keep.  The kids may act like they don’t care, but the message is they are not a priority and they need to feel special dates are special because they are sacred.  And yes, true emergencies do arrive.  Your boss asking you to have a beer with him or to work late is not an emergency unless you will be fired.  If that getting fired is a true danger, look for another job.

Tip nine: “Us time” often saves marriages.  David and I survived our time during the years of stress because our “Us Time” was watching Johnnie Carson every night

Tip ten: Your “Me-time” needs to be as sacred as your dates with your child. 

PRACTICE KINDNESS

Be kind to  me,  like this post, comment or  share.  You will be helping me stay strong and maybe  others as well.   Click here for my free Ebook: The 12 Daily Emotional Fitness Training Exercises.

IMAGE BY: My wonderful niece Heather when we all sat to watch the sunset on an evening walk.