How do i teach kindness to my child? Doesn’t it come from within? Is kindness a learnt trait? Can it be learnt or acquired?
If these questions revolve around your mind as a parent, congratulations, you are already one step ahead. Believe me my friends, we need kindness today more than anything in this world, even more than the times of two world wars.
The world has turned into such a materialistic and competitive place that we need to look within and find some peace to survive happily.
I have always tried to help bring out the inner kindness from kids around me and have now been able to have some good pointers and tips for doing so successfully.
So here are those steps according to me:
- Ensure we are kind with our child and other children: Being kind without expecting anything in return is the mantra. More often than not we are expecting a certain behavior or something else in return. Let us be kind with our kids and others. Start being kind with the closest ones and let it flow to the farthest corners of this world from trees to animals to our planet Earth.
Make sure we do not try and malice a child’s pure heart by things like, “ Hide all your good toys because your friend may break them.” These little things have a negative impact on a child’s mind. It is perfectly fine if the child himself doesn’t want to share his belongings but teaching him to lie or play cunning at an early age is sowing negative seeds.
- Edify the person who has done an act of kindness: Suppose your husband has done something kind and helpful for your maid or his friend, it is the responsibility of the wife to edify him and explain the act to her child. My best friend makes clothes for stray puppies who live on the road to save them in winters. I make sure to appreciate it in front of our children. Children crave for positive appreciation and when they feel kindness can be rewarded with appreciation it makes them think of repeating the same.
- Do not speak ill of your in-laws or family members or others in front of your child:
Oh, give up bitching entirely? I agree it has a certain attraction and can be satisfying at times. But i have learnt the hard way how much time and energy is spent in these thoughts and conversations. I learnt to channelize these in productive pursuits like writing a blog. Once we are a parent or a guardian it is very important for us to be the best version of ourselves. And when I ask myself if that victim playing bad-mouthing person is the best version of ME? The answer obviously is a big NO.
I have seen children being drawn into family fights and misunderstandings and believe me my heart pains to see them dragged into these adult misfortunes. Let us please not do that to any child.
- Random acts of kindness: I am a strong believer of positive karma and so totally for doing random acts of kindness. Be kind to people you may never meet again, whose face you might not remember the next minute and see how nature fills your life with tremendous kindness and fortune. For example, offer your seat to an elderly in the bus. The best takeaway here is that your child learns to do the same from you and his life will be filled with happiness and good fortune too. And when he peers inside his soul he will not be met with a dark void but a bright beautiful light. This can be reason enough for any parent as we aren’t going to be there with them always but if they learn to spread flowers of happiness and kindness, they will never be alone.
- Planned kindness:
Growing up, my mom and I struggled to make a living and yet my mom managed to donate things required by a place for mentally and physically challenged kids. Whether it was my father’s birthday or his death anniversary, she would always save enough to get things that institution required. One year it was fans they needed and another they needed beds. She would make it a point to ask them well in advance what was required.
My mother’s acts of kindness stretched to people she would work with. She would make food for ladies who used to clean the school she worked with. She has inspired me to plan for needs of others. Even when we were struggling to make our ends meet she managed it,I am sure if each one of us plans such small acts of kindness our world will be filled with kindness and gratitude.
The author of this article, Kshama Dudpuri is an enthusiastic reader and writer,education and parening influencer, founder of POISE7 and wants to bring a change in the compassion meter in this world.