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Teach Your Child to Be Caring

Compassion and thoughtfulness are two quality traits that everyone should have and display to others around them, their world, environment, associates, family, and strangers alike. That is the idea of caring. It is a value that any parent would like for their child to display. Even though we live in a society filled with fear and sometimes harsh environments, we can teach our children to be caring to themselves and others around them.

As always, everything starts at home. Being a caring parent and community member is the best teaching tool for all parents. Showing empathy and caring encourages empathy and caring in our children. This can be as simple as helping a senior citizen with their groceries, allowing someone in front of you in the grocery store that has one item compared to your many items, or simply picking something up for someone. Other random acts of kindness can be demonstrated to our children to encourage the joy of caring for others.

Preschool
While it is hard to conduct ourselves as perfectly as we would like with work, bills, responsibilities, obligations and children, we sometimes get lost in the maze of life. Sometimes we just don’t want to read a book, or tuck our children in bed at night, if you felt this way you’d be no different than thousands of other parents out there and sometimes it’s okay. As much as possible spend quality time with your children this will create an atmosphere that encourages children to feel loved, needed and cared for, which will ultimately be a quality they will easily display to others.

Sharing is more than just a great quality to have, it really shows that we care for others. Young children may have a tougher time sharing with others, especially if they are an only child or are accustomed to playing alone. Encouraging sharing starts with the understanding that we are all sharing ourselves, “Mom shares with you all the wonderful things in life and it feels so nice to share with you, don’t you want to share your toys with others and see your friends play happily?”

Main points to address:

  • Model caring behavior.
  • Spend quality time with your child.
  • Encourage sharing.

Grades K-6th
A one-on-one talk with children can change more things in a child’s life than anything else would be able to. Think of how special this has made you feel in the past when your role model or mentor took out the time to listen to you and advise (not preach) you on various topics. Ask your children how they feel about others (the homeless, other students, senior citizens, etc.) and listen closely to their thoughts and feelings. Model your thoughts around theirs, “I also feel terrible for people who don’t have homes, do you think there is anything we can do to help them?”

If you feel there is something you can do, the next step may actually be volunteering at homeless shelters, charity events, or other needy organizations. Allow your child to feel as though this was their idea (unless it really was their idea!) and congratulate them on caring enough to take action. Many people can feel bad; it’s those who take action that can change the world. Let them know that they are one of those people who could ultimately change the world.

However, we don’t have to stop with the homeless shelters, what about your local community. Did a new neighbor move in? Do you have a senior living alone? If so make an effort to welcome that new neighbor with a welcome package, make sure they know the area or have information about community resources or other information you have found helpful when you first moved in. Take a meal to that senior living alone and make sure they have someone taking them to the store or their doctor’s appointments. If not, “normally Ea transportation unit is designated for seniors. On the other hand, you can contact local resource centers to see if there are resources that can potentially help seniors in need. You and your child can also get involved with neighborhood events or charity drives locally.

Main points to address:

  • Volunteer at local charities and/or events.
  • Talk to children about caring.
  • Help neighbors or get involved with neighborhood events.

Resources
Resources that can help you in your venture include:

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