Practicing kindness at home is one of the best ways to teach your children to be kind people.
The more you practice kindness at home, the more your children will pick up on and learn to be more empathetic humans.
Not only do you want your children to witness acts of kindness that you perform, but you want them to also act with kindness too.
Teaching your children to be kind is also a great way to teach your children empathy.
When they experience how it feels when someone is kind to them, and then pass it on to others so that they can experience how they feel when someone responds to the kindness they give, it promotes more empathy.
Make Homemade Cards for Someone in Need
If an event happens that requires sympathy get the kids together and let everyone make homemade cards. Let them take part in making the cards and sending the cards to those in need.
Talk about why it’s important and how the cards will make the recipient feel.
Ask them how they would feel if they got cards from someone when they were sick or hurt.
Host a Fundraiser for a Cause
You can do this with a lemonade stand or you can start a fundraiser online via many methods such as Facebook fundraising.
Ask the kids to help by having them make a poster asking for donations to the charity or cause. Add that image to your fundraising efforts online or to their lemonade stand booth.
Make a production of the entire thing so that it’s importance is amplified in the mind of the child.
Encourage & Reward Random Acts of Kindness
Set up a jar in your home with ideas for random acts of kindness. Let each child remove a card to get an idea for a random act of kindness that they’ll perform.
When you notice them being nice it’s important to reward them in some way by saying “thank you” and acknowledging that you saw what they did.
But, also let them know that if they do one of the tasks or make up their own and no one says anything that it’s the thought that counts, not the reward.
That it’s important to do nice things just because it feels good and not just for a reward. Do nice things for them too without expecting anything in return.
Put Love Notes Around the House & in Backpacks
Add random love notes to your child’s pillow, their backpack, on their mirror and even in a text if they use a mobile device.
Saying “I love you” or “you’re amazing” once in a while to a child is a great way to show them how people who have empathy and are kind behave.
Demonstrating that behavior will encourage them to behave the same way.
Demonstrate Love of Your Spouse in Front of Your Kids
If you have a partner in life, it’s important for children to witness the love and sometimes even the fights.
But, it’s important that the love and the fights are healthy. Let your children see you taking care of your spouse when they’re sick.
Let them see how you thank them when they take care of your needs too.
Show them how the home is a safe place to express emotions, even uncomfortable ones so that they will follow and emulate you.
Do Someone Else’s Chores
Most children have a chore list but isn’t it nice to occasionally without warning do someone else’s chores for them.
If your child forgets to make their bed, make it for them and let them know that you did.
Say something like, “I noticed you were too busy to make your bed this morning, so I decided to do it for you this one time.”
That way they know this is not an everyday thing.
Plus, they will turn around and do the same for you when they realize it’s a favor and that it felt good to receive that favor instead of being yelled at for not doing it.
Taking care of your environment and finding more ways to do kind things for each other at home as well as others who need help you’ll generate helpful thought patterns in your kids that will help them be valuable members of society and feel good about themselves to boot.
After all, demonstrating empathy and kindness feels just as good to the giver as the receiver.