If you relate well with everyone and care about others in society, you should be thankful to your parents for teaching you the values of kindness and empathy. These two values are the fundamentals of being humane as you can only practice them if you have consideration for others. Children who don’t learn these two values at an early age may end up becoming mean and self-centred individuals who only care about themselves. You can follow the following tips on how to teach a child empathy if you are willing to pass on what your parents taught you to your kids.
Help Them Understand These Values
You don’t have to wait for your kids to go to school to learn about kindness and teaching empathy to kids. You can help them understand these values at home by continually talking to them about it. Young kids are much focused on me and mine, but you can help them think about others by including them in family activities. For example, you can engage them in fun games that include other people. When your kids are 4 to 5 years old, you can start having conversations about kindness. Let them know that they should treat others in the same way they would expect to be treated themselves. Use an example of something they do to others and why they should stop it because they would not want it done to them.
Engage in Kind Activities
Engaging in charity work together with your child helps them develop kindness. You child will also learn how to show empathy for all kinds of people through the opportunity of meeting and interacting with people from different backgrounds, circumstances and ages. Having a kid photography section in such activities will also provide something that makes them proud of their contribution to society. You should also supplement this with kind activities at home like finding toys for donation and helping the old in your neighbourhood. Engage your kids by asking them for suggestions about the good things you can go for others.
Be a Role Model
Kids learn a lot from observing and listening to their parents. It can be easy teaching empathy to children and kindness if your actions portray these values. Let your kid find you doing acts of kindness and encourage them to do the same by showing them that doing that makes you and others happy.
Be on the lookout for situations where your kids practice kindness and acknowledge that. Showing your kids that you are happy when they do something kind reinforces their kind behaviour. However, it is not advisable to praise them for everyday helpfulness acts like throwing trash in the bin because they should also learn that that is what is expected of them.
Help Them Learn the Effects of Kindness
Your kids should also learn how it feels to be kind and how other people respond to kindness. Ask them to look at other people’s facial expressions when they do something kind instead of being rude. Learning the effects of kindness will encourage them to be more kind and empathetic even when there are no rewards for their actions. Also, help them notice when people are kind to them and teach them to show gratitude.
You have a responsibility as a parent to raise an all-round person who benefits the family and society. One way of raising such a person is by teaching them values such as kindness and empathy as they contribute to being humane. The above tips can help you instil these values in your child, even at a young age.
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