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How To Develop Kindness In Your Child

Updated on September 30, 2015

By Karishma Hyder

When we think of children, we automatically think of innocence. Although I will not argue with that, I will, however, point out that children of today will eventually grow into the adults of tomorrow. How a child is brought up has a lot to do with how he or she will turn out in his/her later life. Most parents think of ways to make their children dexterous when it comes to education and other extracurricular activities but very few take into consideration the fact that their over scheduled children’s lives may however contribute to them being selfish and lack a certain ‘care’ in their nature. This, however, is not a set rule that applies to everyone, for if it were so then most children would grow up and end up being all alike. This is just to make all those parents out there, who are doing everything in their power (all in goodwill) to make their children excel in life by providing a tough schedule containing dancing, singing, drawing, language, etc classes but are perhaps missing out on vital lessons of life like how to be kind, caring and thoughtful. Preparing a child for the oncoming battle of life that would require them to earn their own living and stand their own ground is of course an essential lesson too but with all the good that comes, it also erases, in most cases, the scope for development in the child in the category of caring and giving.

Kindness in words creates confidence, Kindness in thinking creates profoundness, Kindness in giving creates love - Lao Tzu
Kindness in words creates confidence, Kindness in thinking creates profoundness, Kindness in giving creates love - Lao Tzu

Children are born innocent and with an empty and clean canvas that requires, and is indeed, a duty of the parents or guardians to provide the first coat, the underpainting, on their children’s impressionable minds. Learning empathy for children is one of the most valuable lessons. There are many small day to day things that parents can do to nurture their children into becoming naturally kind and considerate persons. Although normal bonding activities with your child may already be an existing matter in your life, it is very important to be aware that hugging, playing, listening, reading bedtime stories, etc are a very good starting point for parents to help their children develop into good human beings. A strong bond between parent and child at an early age helps children trust their parents’ judgments and ideals forever.

Once you have established a good and close relationship with your child (although it may sound strange that you need to establish a ‘relationship’ with your own child, it is true that it is necessary) it automatically becomes easier to teach your child to be kind and giving more actively. You can start by spending time alone with your child. Let him/her know that you are there to guide them every step of the way and that they should not fear you. Ask them about their daily activities, even if you already know what they did every minute of the day as this would show that you have a genuine interest in their lives. Ask them about what they think of other people who come to your house. The best way to teach your child to be kind to others is by being kind yourself. Whatever parents do, children tend to pick them up as they see their parents as their role model in their early life. Try to avoid nasty confrontations with your partner or relative or friend in front of your child.

Teaching children the importance of being kind

Teach your child small kind things like saying ‘thank you’ and ‘welcome’ in appropriate situations. You can make this activity more fun for your child by asking and helping your child to make a thank you card when given a gift. Try doing group activities like baking a cake or pie if you like doing that yourself and taking it over to an elderly in the family or neighbour. Such random acts of kindness seep into children and they perceive such acts to be good and therefore, learn in the process.

If you have more than one child then you already have a great base to start on to teach your child the art of sharing. Sharing teaches a child to be less selfish and more kind, giving and thoughtful. Talk to your children about sharing their toys with each other and doing activities together.

Let your child help you with household activities even if they are not much of a help. If your child wants to help you with something on their own then try avoiding saying ‘no’ to them. Let them help and for that thank them. When your child does something nice or good, let them know that you like that and that you are proud of them. We all know that parents love their children but it is very helpful to express that verbally as it makes them feel cared for. Praising your child when they do something good makes them feel rewarded and it pushes them in the direction of doing more good in order to maintain your approval. Along with expressing your approval vocally, you should try as much as possible to make them feel cared for and approved by means of physical contact. Hug them or give them a sound peck on their cheek while telling them that you are so proud of your little darling!

When your child does not follow your teachings or does something careless or cruel, you should intervene immediately and tell them that what they DID is not good instead of telling them ‘YOU are being bad or not good or nice’. You want your child to understand that nothing is wrong with them and that you are only admonishing them for their ACT. You want to teach them to be kind and caring and not make them feel guilty in the process.

Encourage your child to help others without gaining anything themselves except for this ‘feeling good’ factor. Support them when they want to help others on their own. Teach them to be nice and kind to elderly people. Tell them that you respect elderly people and that they should too. Take your child to visit old relatives or friends with flowers and ask your child to make a ‘get well’ card if they are sick.

It is very important to teach children to be kind to animals

Let your child feed your pet
Let your child feed your pet

How Animals can help your Children

There are numerous ways to make your child understand the importance of being kind, giving and caring. However, letting your child have a pet is a great way of teaching them to be caring and responsible. There are so many advantages of having a pet in your house that I cannot list them. It is true that pets seem like a hassle and with it comes a lot of responsibilities; it is similarly true that pets teach your child to be humane more than anything else. Having a pet from an early age embeds in children the concept of caring for other living beings other than themselves. A pet does not denote a cat or dog, it can even be a small gold fish. Being around a living object that is dependent on humans teaches children to be responsible. Adults, who in their youth, were not given the opportunity to be in touch with pets and animals tend to transform their lack of interaction with animals into a feeling of hatred towards animals. You will find that many people when asked whether they like cats or dogs would answer that they hate animals or they find their certain habits disturbing. I do not blame them for garnering such feelings as this is most probably a result of the lack of experience with animals in their early years. The concept of caring and loving one's pet becomes an alien feeling to them. Their unaccustomed habit of being around animals is interpreted as dislike towards them. Therefore, do not deprive your child the joy of having a pet for it has a lot to give to your child.

Just remember that they are your children and that they are dependent on you from the day they are born. They will not turn into adults over a second. It will take them years to reach that point and till they do you have a lot of grooming and teaching to do. You have assigned yourself that task the moment you conceived them. Teach them from the beginning and they will do you proud.

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    • profile image

      Kourtney 2 years ago

      How could any of this be better stated? It co'ldnut.

    • K L Evans profile image

      Karen Evans 3 years ago from Lancashire, England

      A great Hub and I so agree with you, particularly about growing up with animals.

    • K Kiss profile image
      Author

      K Kiss 3 years ago from Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

      Thank you Rafiq23 for your encouraging comment. I wish more parents would let their children have pets in the house. Having pets while growing up is definitely a privilege and teaches us, human beings to be compassionate and learn to care for living beings other than ourselves. In this world of materialistic attractions, most people lose sense of "living".

    • Rafiq23 profile image

      Muhammad Rafiq 3 years ago from Pakistan

      Excellent hub K Kiss! The points you mentioned will absolutely help parents create a sense of kindness in their children. Thumbs Up!

    • profile image

      anna 5 years ago

      I have a six year old with learning disailities. He is so kind to others. the other week in school when a child was crying in the break time my son walked into the classroom to cheer the little boy up . He had star of the week. Any child even if they have learning disbailities can be taught to be kind.

    • K Kiss profile image
      Author

      K Kiss 5 years ago from Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

      tammyswallow and dadibobs, thank you for taking the time to read my hub. I completely agree with both of you and I hope to walk on my own footsteps if and when I do have children of my own. Many of what I wrote sprouts from my own childhood years. I was lucky to have had pets all my life and I do believe it helped me to be whatever I am today.

      dadibobs I really appreciate you voting up my hub. Thanks.

    • dadibobs profile image

      dadibobs 5 years ago from Manchester, England

      Excellent hub, you really emphasize the points i strongly believe in.

      voted up and interesting :)

    • tammyswallow profile image

      Tammy 5 years ago from North Carolina

      Very good insight. If we don't set good examples for our children than we shouldn't expect them to have those traits. Well written and great suggestions!

    • profile image

      Humpty Dumpty 5 years ago

      As good a read the second time around as it was the first time! (You'll realise the weight of this compliment when you consider how rereading something usually has a reduced impact on the reader than the first time.) :P

    • K Kiss profile image
      Author

      K Kiss 5 years ago from Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

      Dear Rob Jundt, thank you so much for stopping by at my hub and leaving such a lovely complement as a comment. I also agree with all that you said. Parents can only try their best to assist their children into becoming good human beings. The task of grooming a child is indeed a wonderful experience and people in such an important position should do all in their power to embed in children the quality of being kind. Only by doing so can we hope to see a united world with peace reigning all over.

    • Rob Jundt profile image

      Rob Jundt 5 years ago from Midwest USA

      What a wonderful piece of writing that sheds a lot of truth on why people develop the way they do. Life experiences, both good and bad, shape and mold lives more than any other medium. This is why it is so important to teach, and model, kindness for our children at a young age--as early as newborns. The way our brains are designed dictates this: the majority of our personality is molded during our earlier childhood years. Thanks for such kind words.

    • K Kiss profile image
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      K Kiss 6 years ago from Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

      thanks PegCole for the comment. I completely agree with your view. Kindness is the key to a peaceful world.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 6 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Very wise words. Our children are our future. We must teach them to be kind and loving and peaceful.

    • K Kiss profile image
      Author

      K Kiss 7 years ago from Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

      Mountain Blossoms...sorry I couldn't get back to you sooner....My finals for my final year of law just ended yesterday... I really appreciate you appreciating my hub....

      Thanks rickzimmerman....I will definitely read your hubs...I got plenty of time now :D

    • rickzimmerman profile image

      rickzimmerman 7 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Hey, K Kiss, still lovin' your hubs! I especially like this one. Just an update — I'm now up to 246 hubs on many topics, especially Cleveland sights & attractions, and sustainable design & living —plus nuggets of humor & wisdom. Stop by if you get a chance. Regards, RickZ

    • Mountain Blossoms profile image

      Marianne Kellow 7 years ago from SE Thailand

      A lovely hub K Kiss and as an elderly Grandma I feel that I could have done with your advice when my children were young. Looking back I can see the flaws all too clearly. And you are so right about pets in a family - they really are brilliant to help kids understand the need to care for others, human or animals. Thank you so much.

    • kitty23 profile image

      kitty23 7 years ago

      I loved the idea of letting children have pets to turn them into more responsible and caring people! I wish my mom did the same for me :P

    • K Kiss profile image
      Author

      K Kiss 7 years ago from Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

      thanks...and you are welcome :)

    • Nia Chantel profile image

      Nia Chantel 7 years ago from Orlando

      I completely agree. Love this. Also, thanks for being my first fan!

    • K Kiss profile image
      Author

      K Kiss 7 years ago from Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

      LOL

      I will go and read your one right away...it never hurts to know the counter argument :)

    • Ben Zoltak profile image

      Ben Zoltak 7 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA

      Great hub K Kiss! I think I just wrote the exact opposite! I do try to teach my child empathy, and I thoroughly agree with you. This time of year though, we also indulge in a little dark humor. I just couldn't resist saying hi when I saw your article posted just before my own on the hubtivity section. I hope you are able to laugh with me on this one!