A lot of people hope that the next generation will make a better, kinder, more peaceful world, and needless to say, the onus of raising this next generation lies on us, the millennial parents. As a parent myself, I always wonder if I am teaching my child the ‘right’ ways and whether I am doing it correctly. But that is how parenting is, we question our every move, every word that we say to our children. But there’s no second guessing the fact that raising a child who is kind, empathetic and helpful is important. The world has enough negativity, hatred and scowls than we can handle, and the only way to change it is by raising a generation that is kind. Whether you are a new parent or have older children, you will definitely benefit from these ‘secrets’ of raising a kind child.
- Empathy is very important: Every time you put your child first, or are available for your friend who is in need, you teach your child empathy. By teaching your child to respect other people’s feelings and helping in whatever capacity you can, you are teaching her a very important lesson on being empathetic.
- Teach them gratitude: Being thankful for the little things in life, being thankful for things that make life comfortable, people who look after you and are concerned for you is important, especially in times when we are only focused on the bigger picture and getting on the next level. Make a habit of expressing gratitude every night with your child and ask her about things she is thankful for.
- Let her express her feelings: It’s only when you are in touch with your feelings that can you empathise with others’ feelings. Let your child express all her feelings, even the negative ones like anger and irritation. Don’t reprimand her or scold her for feeling what naturally comes to her. What you need to do is teach her how to manage her feelings, so she can do the same for others.
- Be available: Communication, as you must have figured, is very important in parenting. The key to teaching anything to your child, even kindness, is to talk about it and show it by following. Recognise your child’s kind behaviour and appreciate her for it.
- Read books about kindness: If your child is a reader (which she should be!), then read her books about kindness. Julia Donaldson’s ‘The Smartest Giant in Town’ is a good book that teaches kids about giving and kindness. Find similar books and read them to your child.