How can I nurture kindness in my child?

Michele Borba
Four strategies that follow are ones that experts agree are some of the most effective ways to begin to help kids understand kindness:

1. Consciously model kindness. Your child learns a great deal about morality simply by your behavior. That’s why it’s so important to model what you want your child to copy. If you want your child to be kind whenever you are together, consciously demonstrate kind behavior. We tend to do kind behaviors so naturally that our children may miss them, so deliberately tune them up.

2. Expect and then demand kindness. Spell out loudly and clearly your expectation that others must be treated kindly. It sets a standard for your child’s expected conduct and also lets her know in no uncertain terms what you value.

3. Teach the meaning of kindness. One of the most important steps in teaching kindness is making sure kids know what kindness means, and it’s a step too often overlooked. So take time to define the virtue.

4. Show what kindness looks like. You can do this activity with your child any time you are together in a place filled with people: a store, the airport, a mall, or the school grounds. Tell her that the object is to look for people who show kindness to others.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.