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Helping Your Child To Be A Good Friend - Lesson 2: Kindness

18/07/2016

 

 

The characters in My Little Pony each represent an important Element of Harmony which helps a child to be a good friend! Fluttershy’s kind heart and unique gift for animals can charm every animal – from tiny woodland creatures to powerful mythical beasts!

 

Kindness is the one of the most important lessons of friendship. As parents, we all wish for our children to be strong, empathetic and caring. Being kind to one another is an important step towards making friends and respecting each other. Teaching children how to care about one another should be something done on a daily basis. Having kids learn that respecting the people around them and providing them ways to be kind reduces violence and bullying.

 

 

To get parents started, here are 7 ways to help your children be kind!

 

 

1. Help them understand the importance of kindness through an act of kindness

 

Know of someone who needs cheering up? Want to make a person’s day? Have your child embark on mini projects with you to bring smiles to the faces of others!

 

Such ideas include,

  • Making breakfast for daddy (or mummy!) on a weekend morning
  • Donating to and helping out those in need
  • Making a handmade present for someone
  • Dedicating a simple card for grandpa and grandma

Have the kids experience the intrinsic rewards and the joy of showing concerns for others! 

 

 

2. Make time to care and share within the family

 

Take time off work and organise little outings with the whole family. Caring and sharing can be as simple as spending time with the children and have the grandparents come along!

 

Picnics and potlucks are great! Involve your children for the preparations – from food to logistics! This is a great opportunity for them to reap the rewards from their efforts and to bring the family closer.

 

 

3. Caring for Animals

 

Everyone knows how Fluttershy from My Little Pony loves her animals! Having your child experience how it is like to care for animals is also a great way to teach kindness!

           

If it is an option, you can get your child a pet. Visit the animal shelters in Singapore and adopt a special friend for your children. Have them decide on the pet which they want to keep and have them learn how to take care of their new pal!

 

For the kids, it will be a first lesson on responsibility and a great step for them to learn how to care for someone else who will be directly under their care!

 

Otherwise, visiting the animal shelters of checking out volunteering group sessions on portals like www.sgcares.org are opportunities for the kids to try out!

 

 

4. Walk the Talk – Be kind with your words

 

We are guilty of our own biases. Our words and perceptions influence those of our children’s. Children learn from watching you. Your thoughts can rub off them, very easily.

 

When you are around your children, it is important to be mindful with your words. If the inevitable happens, you can always first,

  1. Take a deep breath when you are angry before you continue a conversation
  2. Keeping an open and positive mind with everyone around you.
  3. Stay objective and resolve it in a calm and collected manner

 

Always be inclusive and not feel exclusive. This builds an extremely positive environment about you and your family which then benefits your child in return!

 

 

5. “Please” and “Thank You” are the magic words

 

 “Please” and “Thank You” are indeed the magic words! Teaching good manners and helping children respect one another are essential to raising a kind child.

 

Follow through and teach by meaning it when you say it. Your children will pick it up and learn to use it independently in due time.

 

Add a “You’re welcome” in your conversations too! Such positivity and appreciation which elicits the smiles around everyone is what makes kindness magical.

 

 

6. Remind that bullying is unkind.

 

This is not the simplest of discussions. While you may be already frustrated and angry with the child (if he/she is the bully), it is important to take a step back and reason this out with your child in a calm and collected manner.

 

Help them understand the consequences about bullying and how other people would feel. Do unto others what you want others to do unto you. Children will need to be guided to learn how their actions can affect others. Helping them gain an empathetic view of the situation will help them better understand bullying.

 

 

7.  Spread the Spirit of Kindness

Kindness is contagious! If your children can set their own examples of being kind to one another, they will naturally spread that to other children! Just as if you are kind to everyone, your children will want to emulate you and bring that smile to another person’s face too!

 

A simple act of kindness creates an endless ripple. Have your children start your very own kindness ripple! You may not know how it will end up, but you sure will be excited when kindness finds its way back to you!

 

Children are actually born naturally to be kind and wanting to help out. As parents and guardians, let’s all help our children keep and nurture these instincts.

 

 

For more parenting tips, check out http://riseandshine.com.sg/articles/cat/enrichment.

 

 

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