By: Amina Moustapha
Everyone wants their children to be kind, and to grow up to be even kinder. The good news is that you have the influence to foster a compassionate child. It is not an easy task, but what will make your job easier is the fact that children already have an inborn capacity for empathy and mercifulness. The trick is to know how to nourish that seed inside them.
1. Make Caring For Others A Priority
Instead of saying to your child: “The most important thing is that you’re happy,” say “The most important thing is that you’re kind.” Kids need to know that caring for other people is a prime concern. In order for them to understand that, you must teach them how to hold to high ethical expectations, such as honouring their commitments and their duties, even if it makes them unhappy. For instance, before they quit a sports team, band, activity or even a friendship, you should ask them to consider their obligations to the group or the friend and encourage them to work out problems before giving up.
2. Adopt Or Buy A Pet
Deciding to get a pet for your kids is laborious and challenging, there is no denying, but there is no pairing more dynamic than kids and their pets. Animals are the perfect complements of childhoods. Caring for a pet helps children learn about responsibility. You should let them be in charge of them. They should feed them, pour food into the dishes, refill the water bowl, give their pets a bath, play with them. It will give your kid the chance to practice being a caregiver, and develop a great sense of empathy and compassion along the way.
3. Donate to Charity
Charity is not only about donating money; actually that’s the easiest part of it. But when you donate something you have built an emotional attachment with, that’s when the true meaning of charity is visible. Involve your kids in the process of selecting which clothes and toys to donate. Don’t do that behind their backs, the value of the activity will diminish then. Tell them how happy other kids in need will get when they wear them and play with the toys; you can also take them with you to the charitable destination.
4. Help A Plant To Grow
When they take the time to patiently and tenderly nurture a plant, that small daily act of thoughtfulness shown towards a sprouting young plant displays how caring gestures can grow into something much bigger, a flourishing plant! There’s nothing quite like seeing something you’ve looked after blossom.
5. You Must Walk The Talk
“Flip side of the same coin”, “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree”, “Like father, like son” and many more other sayings indicate that parents play a big role in how their kids turn out to be. You want your child to be kind then you must walk the walk, not just talk the talk. Work on yourself, on your flaws, and pay close attention to whether you are practicing honesty, fairness and caring yourself. Ask yourself continuously if you’re a good role model for them, and don’t settle for less than your children deserve.