How To Teach Your Child to Be Kind
I think sometimes I get so occupied thinking about which school my kids should go to, their grades, their homework, school activities and you name it! Sure, those things are super crucial in determining my kids’ future but something made me stop and pause for awhile. It made me question myself, what am I doing to teach my kids to be kind?
As a mom, sometimes I get lost in planning for the future of my kids. I mean, how can we not? Life’s getting more challenging and competitive every.single.day.
Are my kids kind and compassionate? Will they lend a helping hand whenever someone needs it? This is a question I ask myself from time to time.
Kids are definitely kind in nature, there’s not doubt about that. But sometimes they get influenced by what they watch, what they hear, and many of that comes from us.
Despite it all, both my kids need to be reminded to be kind.
Why do I say that?
Well as kids, they like to argue with each other. Sometimes they have trouble sharing toys with one another. This is the time when Papa and I need to intervene.
I’m not claiming that I’m an expert on parenting. I’m far from an expert.
I’m just sharing with all of you parents out there what I’ve read so far. Especially us Muslim mommies, we need to stick together :)
Okay, so here is what I gathered from my readings:
1) BE A GOOD ROLE MODEL
Yup, I hate to admit it but kids definitely learn from us a lot-- both the good and bad. We can’t really tell them to be nice and compassionate when we don’t try to do it ourselves.
2) SHOW THEM WHAT IT MEANS TO BE KIND
Explaining to them in words is one thing, performing an act of kindness is another. There are many ways of performing a small act of kindness such as helping your neighbours, giving food to the poor, helping out at the shelter and so forth. And yes, it’s never too young to get them to help out at shelters and orphanages :)
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3) GET YOUR KIDS TO SHARE
If they have siblings, this might even be a little easier. My kids aren't perfect, I always need to remind them to share.
If you have a single child, you can still encourage sharing by bringing him or her to the park and taking turns to go down the slide or play the see saw with other kids. It’s really important to remind them that they need to share.
4) SPEAK SOFTLY TO THEM
I get it-- life as a parent, especially a mom can be so tiring and exhausting! Kids can be such a hand full too especially when they have their meltdowns!
But we always need to remember that when they misbehave, we need to be stern but at the same time, we can't raise our voices to them. We have to look at them in the eye and show them that we mean serious business. It's important for us to keep our cool so that they always speak to others in a kind manner. This may seem easier than done and I too, find this particularly challenging.
5) TEACH YOUR KIDS ABOUT THE LESS FORTUNATE
Whenever we can, we should always expose our kids to people who come from different backgrounds, especially those who are less fortunate.
We can either read about them or bring them along when we volunteer at shelters and orphanages. Donating to humanitarian or aid organizations is also a good way to nurture compassion and kindness in our kids.
6) READ AND WATCH TV WITH THEM
When you read a book with the kids, don’t just end the session when you’re done reading. You can ask them questions to discuss about what happened in the book, the emotions of what the character may be feeling or even what your kid is feeling.
The same can also be applied to when they are watching TV. Letting them watch TV doesn't mind that we are neglecting their mind and soul. I find that talking about what is being watched helps them with their language and comprehension. You can try it too!
I know, sometimes it’s hard to think as though your kid can understand anything but trust me, sometimes they do. And we need to believe that they can and will.
RELATED: Raising Muslim Children
7) BE WARY OF WHAT THEY MIGHT PICK UP FROM TV, SOCIAL MEDIA
In today’s age, you can’t really prohibit your kids from social media 100%. Social media has become so dominant in the world today, companies, governments can’t function without it.
So instead of hiding social media from your kids, maybe you can let them use it for about 10 minutes or so during the weekends after they’re done with their chores. You don’t have to get them their own phones or ipads or anything like that, they can use yours for just a while. That way, they won’t feel like they are entitled to it.
But you also need to be careful of what they watch. Some content are not made for kids. Kids also tend to easily imitate what they watch, so might want to watch with them from time to time.
So let's remind ourselves to be a little bit more present but at the same time, remind ourselves to try to have a little more fun with the kids despite our hectic schedule :)
Have you watched our “Loving Orphans” video? What happened to Sufi's parents? Let us know what you think!
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