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How Do I Teach My Child To Be Kind?

Recently Kids Club Northern Beaches hosted a Parent Information Evening with special guests Donna & Angela from Back on Track Consultancy.

The information session covered how to build independence and building resilience in our children. Along with many other helpful techniques and tips on early childhood development topics.

In this short segment from the Question & Answer time, Donna and Angela answer real parent questions on how you can teach your child to be kind and how to be resilient when other children are not kind to them.

How do I teach my child to be kind?

  1. Role model kind behaviour
  2. Children are not born with empathy, they need to be taught
  3. Praise your child when they display acts of kindness and kind behaviour
  4. Point out if your child is not being kind and identify where they learnt that un-kind behaviour
  5. Teach your child about other children not being kind and give them strategies or tips on how to cope with it

 

 

 

 

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Transcript

Okay. How can I teach my children to be kind? I think it’s a matter of role, role-modeling and play and showing them and demonstrating how to be kind. I’ll give you an example of children at preschool. If a child has hurt themselves, I always say to them, everybody else come and help them come and look over here. Let’s see if they’re okay. I did have a funny situation where I walked down the lower playground. The boys were playing soccer and there was a child on the ground and they were kicking the ball around the child who was on the floor crying. And I said, stop the game. I said, what’s, what’s wrong here? And they all went, Huh? They didn’t even notice that. And so this is where we need to teach it to them, which is age appropriate.

And it’s okay because they’re not born with that empathetic skill to be kind. They’re not actually born with it. So I said to them, all right, can everybody see that this little boy is crying? This little boys crying and they all went, yeah, he fell over. And I said, but how come you didn’t stop and help him? You needed to come and tell me? I said, come on everyone, let’s go and help him. And they all gathered in and they all gave him a little pat and we all said to you, okay, can we help you? Let’s go get you a bandaid. And I made them all come up to the top and we put a little bandaid on. And I said, okay, that’s so nice. It’s so nice that you’ve got friends that are gonna look after you.

And just from that one teaching opportunity, they’ll do it again and they’ll do it again. And every time they do it, we praise and praise them. So I’ll whisper in a child’s ear, thank you so much for being kind and looking after your friend. I really appreciate that. That’s lovely. So that then their little chest goes, oh my goodness. I did that. I did do that. And once they do it once and they know that’s the right thing to do, they want to do it again because they love being good. Okay. They want to be good. So we need to teach them that. We don’t need to teach them that, but we also need to be mindful that, they are going to come across people that are not going to be kind. Okay. That’s a reality of life. We all work in working environments and I know in my experience in working that, I’ve come across some people that haven’t been kind and it’s about how I’ve managed and how I’ve handled it.

So we need to equip them with skills and tips and offer them strategies on how to cope when someone isn’t kind to them and just build that resilience so they just dust it off cause people will go up to them in the playground. We actually had a lady contact us through Facebook, a couple of weeks ago saying that her daughters come home from school saying, mummy, I don’t want to be your friend anymore and you’re not coming to my birthday party. Okay. I would just like to mention that mom’s organising the birthday, and she’s organising the food and the entertainment. So I’m pretty sure mum’s gonna be there firstly. So she doesn’t really have to worry that her daughter’s going to be evicted from her own birthday party. But the thing is they pick the kids, we’ll save this and they will come home and they will say it at home.

It gets said to them in the playground with other children and role-modeling behaviour and then the child is coming home and role-modeling that to mum and dad. So the mum was asking us how, how can I deal with that? How can I cope with that? And we basically just central her to say to her daughter, you know what, those words are not very kind. It’s not very nice that you’re uninviting mommy to your birthday party cause Mommy’s obviously looking forward to it. Um, and then she said to her, has someone said to that to you at Kindie? And she said, Oh yes, they say it all the time. So that was her opportunity then to swoop in and say, well, when one of your friends says that to you, you just need to say, well that’s okay cause I’ve got lots of other friends. Okay. So she was giving her a tip and a strategy that the child can then use in the playground so that she doesn’t take it so personally. And also explaining to her daughter that that child won’t remember what they’ve said mostly anyway. Okay. And to be honest with you, most three and four year olds only have very small birthday parties anyway. You know, it’s not a major social event. We just need to remind our children that, yes, people are not going to be kind all the time.