We try and be good parents by thinking about what we are going to say before we say it.We often may think about the response we will get from our child once we have said it… but there are moments of madness that overcome us and words can come tumbling out of our mouths that we often regret. We can’t be perfect parents but speaking to our children with contempt is not teaching them kindness.
There have been occasions when a child has sat in a session with me and has moaned about the way their parent has spoken to them. I help them move on by discussing with them that mum and dad are human beings and that they made a mistake.
The hurtful thing they said was not intentional and there was no meaning behind it. Their feelings about something else took over and they know it was not okay. We then move onto talking about their feelings, kindness and how to treat others.
So, how do we teach our children kindness as we know contempt is not the way?
Nine ways to teach children kindness:
- Talk to our children like people
- Use language that is respectful
- Don’t shout at them
- Ask them to do something – not tell them
- Don’t talk ill of others in from of them
- Use our pleases, thank you’s and excuse me’s
- Model kindness with our friends and partner
- Show them how to think of others
- By getting them involved in doing things for others without a reward
Children often model behaviour, so show your children what kindness is and how to treat people with respect.
I’d love to hear how you encourage kindness in your children. What would you add as number 10 to this list?