Teaching children about love and kindness is essential for their social and emotional development. Children often grow up believing that the world revolves around them, leading to self-centred behaviours, a lack of empathy, and poor emotional intelligence. As parents and educators, we are responsible for teaching them the importance of love and kindness towards others.
A great example is when children take it upon themselves to help others. When young children befriend new students, it can make a significant difference for someone settling into a new environment who doesn’t know anyone. Acts of love and kindness are essential behaviours we need to instil in our children, so they can learn how their actions can significantly impact people’s lives.
Compassion and empathy are essential traits that help us connect with others, understand their feelings, and respond to their needs. In a world that is often driven by results and productivity, it may be easy to overlook the importance of these traits. Mother Teresa is the perfect embodiment. She was a Catholic nun and missionary who dedicated her life to serving the poor and sick in India. Her deep compassion guided her work for those suffering. She believed and demonstrated the importance of treating everyone with dignity and respect.
Here at New Life, we use storytelling and positive techniques to reinforce these values, helping children develop the social and emotional skills they need to succeed. Here are some ways to help young children grow in love and kindness towards others.
Be a Role Model
They learn by observing those who are closest to them. When parents and teachers show their children love and kindness, they teach them how to behave toward others.
Encourage Positive Relationships
Children who have positive relationships with their family and friends are likelier to show love and compassion towards others. At our childcare centres, we help our preschoolers build social skills to learn how to form positive relationships. Parents can also encourage their children to participate in activities that promote kindness, such as volunteering at a local charity or performing acts of kindness for others.
Reinforce Positive Behaviour
Reinforcing positive actions boosts children’s self-esteem and makes them feel good when doing good deeds. When children show kindness towards others, praising and encouraging them is crucial. This positive reinforcement can help children understand their actions are appreciated and valued. Positive reinforcement can also teach children how to resolve conflicts kindly and lovingly. For example, praising a child who shares a toy demonstrates the importance of sharing and kindness.
Be Strategic When Disciplining
Punishing children for negative behaviour can sometimes have the opposite effect and reinforce inappropriate conduct. Positive discipline techniques help children understand the consequences of their actions. For example, if a child is hitting their sibling, a parent can gently intervene and suggest they play with a toy together instead. By redirecting the child’s behaviour towards a more positive activity, the parent or caregiver can help the child learn appropriate behaviour without resorting to punishment or negative consequences. This technique is effective because it helps prevent negative behaviour from escalating and allows the child to learn and grow from the experience.
Although it is valuable for a child’s career prospects to teach them school subjects and responsible to teach them life skills, we nurture a child’s heart when we show them how to be loving and kind to others around them. Even the smallest gesture of kindness from a child may create impact beyond what can be immediately seen.
Our Infant Care and Childcare in Woodlands teachers seek to create a nurturing environment for children to develop compassion and empathy for others as they grow in social skills and hit developmental milestones. Come visit our centre and find out how we weave these values into our curriculum!