Day 15 -Teaching Your Child Kindness

So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you.—Matthew 7:12a

As parents, we all want our children to be kind. It sometimes seems kindness would be an easy virtue to teach, but children learn through repetition. They also tend to be self-centered, not because they’re mean, but because their worlds are still so small. Instilling kindness in your kids will take patience, repetition and plenty of relatable lessons.

Today’s verse is a good place to start. It’s easy for children to understand and memorize, and relate back to their worlds. For example, you could say to your child, “Would you want someone at preschool to take your toys without asking? You need to ask first.” Pairing the instruction with this type of question will teach your children empathy and get them to think critically at an age-appropriate level.

If you need more tips and object lessons, you might consider doing a few of these with your kids:
• Take the question above to the next level with role- playing. Use a situation your child or his teacher might have told you about.
• Discourage using unkind words. Make it a house rule that name- calling, swearing and other unkind words will have a consequence.
• Catch your child being kind, and praise her. Say something like, “I’m proud of you for sharing with Beth today. Did that feel good?”
• Read stories, including Bible stories, in which kind and patient characters are rewarded.
• Do kind acts as a family. Volunteer at a soup kitchen or animal shelter, or donate toys and books to charity.
• Perform small acts of kindness. For your spouse, relatives and children, you can do things such as helping with chores, caring for a pet or doing a favorite activity as part of family time.

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