We all want our children to grow up and be compassionate and caring individuals as adults. In order to get there, we have to raise compassionate and caring children first. This may seem like a daunting or even impossible task, but we promise that it is possible! Try out some of these ideas for how to instill the desire to be caring in your children!
Model the Behavior
Our children learn how to treat people by watching how we treat people, including them. If they see us being harsh or rude to those around us, it won’t matter how much we tell them to be kind – they’ll be less likely to listen.
Do all you can to show compassion around your children at all times. Of course, no one is perfect, and you shouldn’t expect yourself to be either. When you mess up and do something uncaring to your child, sit them down and be honest about it, apologize, and talk about how things can be handled differently in the future.
Take Your Child to Volunteer
Exposing your child to people and situations that are different from their own can help them build up compassion and empathy for those around them. Consider taking your child to help at your local food bank, nursing home, or other areas where you can make a difference in someone’s life.
Get a Pet
This tip takes some more commitment than others on our list, but having a pet can help your child become a caring person in an enjoyable way. Pets expose us to many different skills and advantages, all while giving us love and affection. Letting your child be involved in the basic care of your pet can help them develop respect for nature and animals, learn about loyalty, and even help them with their relationship-building skills!
Talk About Feelings
It’s important to have meaningful conversations with your child about how they are feeling and how to handle those feelings. Understanding both positive and negative feelings, as well as what to do about them, can help your child have a better understanding of the emotions of others around them.
When you’re happy, share it with them. If they are rude to you, let them know how that made you feel. Don’t belittle or berate them in these conversations but be honest about how feelings matter.
When your child learns to be thankful for what they have, they are more likely to be caring towards the people around them, especially those who may not be as fortunate as them. This goes back to our first tip as well because part of teaching them gratitude is by being grateful yourself. Be careful about expressing dissatisfaction when you see someone has something you want or when things didn’t go as you expected.
One great way to do this is to talk to them before bed and have you both name something you’re grateful for from that day, no matter how big or small. Before you know it, you’ll see how appreciative your child is for the life they have, and they’ll be more likely to share that happiness with others.
One of the best achievements any parent can make is raising a kind and caring child. Being intentional with how you act around your kids and taking feelings seriously as a family can help your child learn to be caring to those around them.