Most of the parents say that they want to impart kindness to their kids and this is their main priority. You can easily find many parents who say teaching kindness to the kids is their main priority and they are trying all the methods to do this.
But the reality is not what most of the parents say, it is almost opposite to what is being said by many that kindness is what they are teaching their kids. Recently, the researchers from Harvard surveyed many parents and then they spoke with 10,000 kids at a range of middle and high schools in the US from 2013 to 2014. The interesting fact here is that while almost all the parents were giving priority to teaching kindness to their kids, most of the children said that their parents are teaching them that personal growth and achievement are more important than caring for others and being kind to them.
However, the study also came out with some suggestions for the parents that can be a sure way to raise kind kids.
No one is born with kindness in their heart, it is a practice that the kids learn as they grow. This is quite similar to learning other things such as language, instruments or any other things. The parents need to give their children a chance to practice kindness every day so that they can understand the value of kindness.
Any simple act can add to the parents’ ways of teaching kindness daily, simply like helping other children or sharing their things with their friends, especially with the ones who don’t have those things will be very helpful.
According to the researchers, the kids need to learn two important skills called “zoom in” and “zoom-out”. The researchers said that this will help them in building a wider “circle of concern”. By zoom in, the researchers mean to zoom in on the individuals and listen to them carefully. It will also help them to understand the person more accurately. And by zoom out, the researchers want to convey that they need to see the bigger picture also so that they can see how and where both are fitting well. This allows them to find the best solution every time.
There is a famous saying that, kids do not follow your words, they follow your actions. A kid sees how their parents are behaving and then learn to behave in the same way. So, the thing here is that your kids will learn to behave in almost the same way as you are behaving with others and that is why being kind is the first step of teaching kindness to the kids.
That does not mean that you will have to be the perfect parents to teach your kids the things that you want to, all you have to do is to work on empathy. A slight demonstration of concern and sympathy will be enough.
There are many destructive feelings like shame, anger, and jealousy that can override the feeling of the kids to be kind. This can affect the kids so much and instead of showing kind behavior to others, they will show the above destructive behavior. As per the researchers, the kids are moral philosopher and they behave accordingly. One of the researchers said that “When adults spark children’s thinking with ethical questions they put issues of injustice on children’s radar and help children learn how to weigh their various responsibilities to others and themselves.”
Although the parents worry a lot about the behavior of the kids, there is the very least chance of parents accepting their fault. Instead, most of the parents never take into account how they are behaving and what is the impact of the way they are behaving and what the kids are gaining from that.
What the parents need to do, is to stop and see whether their behavior is up to the mark and are they giving the right things to their kids. They need to check whether they are teaching kindness to the kids in the right way. The parents need to do this from time to time to ensure everything is on track all the time.
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