Understanding love and kindness can be difficult for young children. The most effective way to “teach” your child about love is to practice it yourselves and cultivate these qualities whenever possible. Here are some ways you can teach your kids indirectly about love and kindness.
- Be a role model
The best approach to teach your children about the abstract feeling of love and kindness is by showing them how it can be done. As children tend to learn from their parents mostly, if you can be the role model, it will be easier for them to grasp. Simple actions such as expressing love with hugs and kisses and using please and thank you will have a profound effect on your children. Even better would be if you could explain why you are saying such things. It is never too early to discuss generosity and kindness with your children.
- Help them comprehend a situation
Small children are naturally interested and try to comprehend the world around them. Thus, they ask “why?” numerous times every day. Jonah Engler advises the parents to take this opportunity to explain why they should act kindly and what they should do when the chance comes.
For instance, if one of your children is not sharing, ask them how they would have felt if their sibling did not share with them. Explain to them the value of sharing and including others; else, they will make them feel sad, and nobody wants to feel that way.
- Make them aware of the effect
Studies have revealed that toddlers appreciate giving treats more than getting one when they realize that the receiver is enjoying it, indicating that even very young children can understand that giving is a virtue.
Always attempt to involve your children in activities where they can witness the impact of their actions when educating them about compassion, love, and kindness. Encourage your children to write thank you cards and also to deliver them. While giving food to a charity, ask them to compile a list of food, buy them, and deliver the things to a food bank. These will have a far greater impact.
Let them choose
When children are compelled to be kind to others or are rewarded for doing things like that, they either do not feel good about doing so, or it is not entirely a genuine feeling. That’s why Jonah Engler wants the parents to let their children decide what would be the right thing to do. It will help them understand the scenario. Instead of telling your child to share with a buddy, ask, “Would you rather give them the zebra or the lion to play with?”
By giving your child the option, you put them in charge and enhance the likelihood that they will feel happy about their well-doing. Additionally, it increases the likelihood of being generous in the future.
- Make time for spending quality time with your family
Spending time with your children is a great approach to teaching them to love one another and be nice and kind. Regular time spent together, whether reading a bedtime tale, having a weekly movie night, or a Saturday family outing will help you bond better with your family.
Try to start early, as children learn very quickly. Small teachings in childhood go a long way in the future.