Parenting Connection: How to teach your kids to be kind

Michigan

It’s Parenting Connection Tuesday and 6 News is here for you with tips, strategies, and helpful reminders from local child development experts on how we can be better parents and guardians.

Today’s topic: How to teach your kids how to be kind.

Child experts say, teaching them this quality takes practice because the concept is somewhat abstract. Kindness involves being nice to people, but it goes a bit deeper than that if you want your kids to be thought of as kind.

Development experts at Michigan State University say a great way to teach, and guide how your kids respond to others is through the acronym “THINK.”
T stands for True. Children must decide if their reaction is based on fact or opinion.
H stands for helpful. Kids must determine if their words and reaction will benefit someone else, or instead harm them.
I represents inspiring. Youngsters will need to figure out if their reaction will inspire, or instead bring someone down.
N stands for necessary. Kids must ask themselves if their words need to be said.
K represents the quality itself, kind. Children need to determine if their reaction is something they would appreciate if the roles were reversed.

According to the MSU extension, here are a few other ways that may help you out with teaching kindness:
*Walk the walk. The best way, according to child experts, to teaching kindness is by being kind yourself.
*Give kids kindness homework. Provide opportunities for them to volunteer, help with a charity, or offering someone else in the house some assistance.
*Instill the value of kindness. For example, being kind does not involve being paid or provided with anything.
*Point out unkindness. Allow your kids to connect what is and isn’t kind and the impact it provides to others.

Child development experts say, when providing your kids opportunities to be kind and encouraging them to engage in the “THINK” process — it’ll teach them, before they speak, how their actions might affect others.

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