Kids can be cruel even when you want them to be kind. They have a natural ability to hurt others with their words; probably because they are so blatantly honest in voicing their opinions. While most kids don’t intend to be cruel, some do. That’s why it’s so important that you take time to cultivate kind behavior in your little ones. Kindness goes a long way and it’s never too early to learn.
Model Kind Behavior
If you want your kids to behave this way, you have to show them what it looks like. This means modeling this behavior for them to see. For example, when your child is screaming and acting like an animal because you didn’t allow her to have cookie for breakfast, model kindness. Respond to her behavior with kindness – but don’t forget to be firm. When you are kind in your response to less than stellar behavior, it helps her learn the value and benefit of using appropriate reactions.
Talk About Kindness
When someone does something kind, make a big deal about it and talk about it as a family. Ask your kids how they felt when someone modeled kindness to them. Ask them how they feel when someone is unkind to them. Let them talk about their feelings and their views of kindness. Not only is this a great example that you’re instilling in their minds, it’s a great way to make them aware of kindness from others.
If you really want to cultivate this type of behavior in your children, do nice things for others. Let them help. Ask your kids to help you help an elderly couple to their car to load groceries or encourage them to go outside and collect the branches that fell into the neighbor’s yard after last night’s horrible storm. Simple good behaviors help your kids feel good about themselves. When they feel good about their actions, they’re more likely to repeat them.
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