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Teach your kid to be kind

Teach your kid to be kind

from 1 year 6 months to 3 years

Kids want to help. And as parents, it's our job to nurture and guide a child's natural inclination to pitch in so it becomes a lifelong habit. It's important to be a good role model - children learn to be helpful from watching you.

The five strategies to raise moral, caring children:

First, just listen. Resist the urge to give the “right” answer. Your kid will learn better if you foster a good conversation and help them work through the issue on their own. Literally bite your tongue if you have to!

If your kid is stumped, reiterate that there’s no right or wrong answer. You just want to hear their ideas. If they still have nothing, try throwing out silly answers to get a reaction out of them.

If your kid’s answer shocks you, say “Hmm” or “Interesting” – something noncommittal to give you time to collect yourself. If you freak out on your kid, they’ll clam up. These conversations should be fun and stimulating, not stressful.

Feel free to embellish the questions to paint a clearer picture for your child. For example, instead of just saying “A new kid joins your class at school.” you could say “A new kid joins your class at school. They speak a different language and wear different-looking clothes than what the rest of your friends wear.”

Ask clarifying questions to get your child talking. For example: “What made you think of that?” Or “Have you ever noticed this happen?”

If your child’s first answer isn’t as kind as you would hope, gently guide them toward considering another answer. Try: “What’s another way you could respond?” Or “How would you feel if you were the other person?”

If You Cannot Say Something Nice… The adage about saying nothing at all if you don’t have something nice to say about someone is a good one to teach kids. Teach your child to get into the habit of saying only positive things -- the kind of things that will make someone feel good rather than sad.

Make photos of your little one taking care of other people and animals, upload to the App. Describe the situations and his/her behaviour.

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