If you’re currently a parent or close to being one (congrats!) then you’ve probably thought a lot about what you want for your kids’ future. You may want them to love football just as much as you do, you might want them to excel at school, or you might have dreams of them exploring the world and making a difference. Of course, there are many aspirations we have for our kids, and they all differ from parent to parent. Yet, we have a feeling every single parent across the globe wants to raise a kind child. Are you stuck with how to do that? Well, here’s how…
All children are kind when they are born
One of the most magical things about us human beings is that we are all wired very similarly, and most of us are born with an innate need to empathize and be kind to people. Don’t believe us? Well, just think of the time where your little toddler started crying and getting upset when their friend was crying, or how your child wanted to cuddle you when you yourself were upset. This is because kids all have the power to be kind from the moment they are born, and it’s down to you to nurture it and keep it there.
Keeping it consistent
Although we already know that children are wired to be kind – how does that explain children who are unkind to others? According to research, much of this comes down to their upbringing and their parents’ influence over them. In fact, a Harvard University study has noted that as children get older, they start to value achievement and their own happiness over the happiness of others. When asked why this was the case, they remarked that they believed it was what their parents wanted from them in life. It may be that parents push too hard for perfect grades or finding the dream job rather than maintaining this notion that it’s cool to be kind. Because of this, it’s important to reinforce these values as a parent throughout their lives.
Maintaining model-like behavior
Luckily, this is pretty easy to do if you’re into your modeling – and we don’t mean the posing in front of a camera kind! It’s never too late to show your kid what it means to be kind, and it’s easy to rectify your mistakes if you feel like your child is growing up without empathy for others. The best way to do this is to show your children what it means to be kind and to show them examples in your everyday life. If you have younger children, it may also be an idea to reinforce the idea through rewards. For example, if they are kind to another child or their sibling, they receive a sticker or a treat.
Kindness results in happiness
It’s a well-known fact that kindness often relates in happiness, but children are sometimes blind to this idea. After all, in their eyes, it’s better for them to shout back at the kid who is being mean to them in the playground than to walk away and calm down. It’s the parents’ job to ensure that children learn about the correlation between kindness and happiness so that they can weigh up their options in each situation and make the correct choice.
If you’re a parent, you’ll know that it’s never your intention to raise a child that is mean or unkind to others – but sometimes it happens, and that’s okay! By providing them with examples of kind behavior and modeling your own behavior, you should be able to instill the right values within your child.