With all the stresses of daily life and added pressure from social media, it’s important that we remind our kids bullying other children is not on. So, with this in mind we thought it would be good to share our top tips on ways to teach your child kindness.
As parents its without thinking that we help our child to learn to read and write, but too often over look the importance of teaching them about emotions and behaviour. Not every child can pick up on signs that they maybe upsetting another child or put themselves in someone else’s shoes and think about how they may feel. So, what can we do as parents to instil kindness and prevent them from becoming a bully. If we as parents can change just a few things in our daily lives, this by far would be one of the most positive and productive way to teach our children and here are our top tips to help do this.
Show by Example
How you act in front of your child, is what you are showing them as acceptable. So, if you say bad things about your friends or family, they think this is ok. How you treat your partner or even pets they will see as acceptable. As adults we are more able to comprehend banter, but children may not, so even bad taste banter to another adult may be unappropriated to do in front of your child. Don’t forget you’re their role model, children will always do as they see more than do as you tell them to do.
Talk about emotions around you
Sometimes its easier for children to understand by seeing things. So, think the next time you are out and about if something happens to talk about the emotions involved. For example, you may drive past someone who has a puncture, say something like Aww what a shame that person must be so upset. Or in a shop and someone drops something, and it smashes you could say something like what a terrible accident, they must feel so bad what a shame. Also, you could make it a guessing game, so if your about and about you could get your little one to try guess the emotion, look around at people and ask your child to do you think that person is happy or sad or angry. This is a great way for them to visualise and link things like facial expression and body language. Of course, people hide emotions don’t get me wrong, but we aren’t getting that deep with this, it is just meant to be a basic exercise that is good for the little ones who are just learning about expressions linked to emotion.
Think twice when teasing your child
Some parents do tend tease their child as a bit of fun and don’t see anything wrong with it, however thinking about it if they end up crying or running off then they clearly don’t like it and don’t find it funny. This behaviour can lead to the child thinking that teasing and upsetting someone is ok. Similarly, we all know that siblings’ bicker and tease each other and its important that as parents we do intervene and point out how each other is feeling and that it is not acceptable to do.
Talk about behaviour everyday
Everyday you can reassure good and bad behaviour with your child. Remember it is as affective to praise and highlight good behaviour as it is to point out the bad. Although the next time you do this why not through in comments about how a certain behaviour has affected other. So, for example if your siblings are arguing and hit each other, you obviously will point out that this is not allowed but go further and point out the mark and ask how you think it makes the other feel and try to get them to think about how they would feel if the mark was on them. With siblings’ arguments it’s also important as a parent that you remind them that you love them both and don’t want either of them to be hurt and want them to get on with each other. Again, going back to negative teasing or comments about another sibling will be picked up on, so its just a rethink on how you approach things.
Show them the Joys of Helping
Again, children can work well with seeing an act of kindness rather than just talking about how to be kind. So, going back to the shop if someone drops something even though it’s a complete stranger why not help them pick it up, or if you are seeing someone struggling to carry something ask them if you could help them and of course the good old fashioned holding the door open for a stranger. All these little acts of kindness seen daily by your child will totally mould how they act as they grow up. They will see how you and the stranger as happier by being nice and want to replicate those feelings.
Don’t allow your child to be rude to you
Seems a real simply one, but too often children get away with talking to their parents like a piece of dirt. Stop it… Children who are allowed to disrespect their parents who they love dearly will see nothing wrong in doing similar or worse to a strange they have no feelings for!
If You Cannot Say Something Nice
Again, an old classic that we are all bound to have heard, but it’s an epic thing to remind your child that if they are in any situation and just can’t think of anything nice to say, then simply say nothing. This can prevent them getting into trouble and limit them from upsetting others.
Our kids know that there's good and bad people in the world, but how do you get them to understand bullying? Well we found this awesome Crumpled Paper Lesson online that a teach in New York shared with her class and thought we would share with you as we think its fab
If your child is being bullied there is help out there and here are just a few helpline numbers