As a parent you want all round development for your children. This generally means you want them to have a have a proper education which the schools help with on the other hand you also want to be good at sports or pursue an extracurricular activity like learning an instrument, learning to draw & paint, learning to dance, all of which have after school activity groups or even classes. Lastly but most importantly you want them to learn values and to be kind, because a kind child will grow into a responsible and kind adult.
Kids are made kind by the almighty but they need to be taught to differentiate between right and wrong in certain situations, what we call situational kindness. Situational kindness needs to be taught and fostered in children. Children do not comprehend situations as we do, for instance when a fellow student at their preschool is crying then pick up on the fact that a friend of theirs is crying but they do not know how to react to that or what is the right thing to do in such an instance. They need to be told by a teacher or a parent that they must go and give their friend a hug or even ask them what bothers them. Children are kind out of their natural instinct but for this instinct to develop, you need to actively assist this development.
Here is a list of ideas on how to teach kindness to preschoolers:
- Children generally attach to people who they interact with on a regular basis. Find who among the many people they interact with is special to your child, it could be a preschool teacher or even your neighbour. Ask your child what they would like to do for this person who they are found of, they could paint a picture or even bring then a chocolate to share.
- Children grow out of clothes and even toys at an alarmingly fast and expensive rate. One must sit down with your children and explain to them how there are other children like them elsewhere and are less fortunate and do not the same toys or clothes and then take your child along with you to a local shelter to donate the clothes and toys.
- Ask your children to smile at five kids they see in a local playground or even as your buy your groceries and see another kid in the aisle.
- Be it in school or even at the local playground ask your child to invite all the children to take part in any on-going activity. Explain to them how excluding kids isn’t a nice thing to do.
- If you have more than one child then encourage one to ask the other to pick what activity they could do together or even to pick a movie to watch.
- Tell them that helping mommy and daddy around the house is a nice thing to do and ask them to help with age-appropriate chores, it could even be something as simple packing their toys back into the designated box.
- Explain them the importance and the reason behind the use of words like “please” and “thank you”.
- If you see someone, especially another child, doing something nice point it out to your child as children like to mimic behaviour of others especially when a parent had told them doing that act is a good deed.
- Encourage your children to share toys with their friends.
The most important thing to remember and follow to ensure that your child imbibes good habits like kindness is to be kind yourself and to lead by example. Children are more intuitive than we give them credit for. They learn many things by watching their parents, relatives, friends and everyone they interact with. They are at an impressionable age and we need to ensure that anyone they interact with them leave behind good impressions.