When it comes to parenting, there is no handbook or easy button. Let’s face it, raising children can be hard. And raising children to be good stewards with kind manners and appreciative attitudes is not an easy task at all! However, it’s one that all parents strive to complete each day.
Having manners is just the beginning. We also want to instill in our children the practice of being mindful of others and to be accepting and appreciative toward others. Like we said before, there isn’t a handbook for this topic, but we can share some helpful tips that might help you achieve the task. Feel free to drop your tips or suggestions in the comments at the end as well! Let’s encourage and learn from each other as we navigate this path called parenting.
Skills Learned from the Very Beginning
As young children begin to grow and learn, one of the very first skills they master is being aware of their surroundings. They notice when mommy or daddy are in the room or when their favorite pet comes bounding in to snuggle with them. They take note of the colors on the TV screen or the voices of other family members in the room. The skill of being aware of your surroundings is natural. Being accepting of those surroundings is a learned skill.
Here are some tips for encouraging our children to be mindful of others around them:
Set An Example
No matter what we are saying or doing, our children are watching and learning from us. If we are mindful of others our children will naturally begin to learn the same skills. They watch you compliment other people, offer help to other people, and understand that everyone is different and has different needs and wants. Seeing you engage with others is the best way to teach our children how we want them to act with others.
Kindness Runs in the Family
Speaking of kindness, the best place to start to learn how to be kind is, you guessed it, at home! Make your home a place where kindness is always given and received. The real-life role playing of showing kindness to siblings and parents or grandparents is the best way to master the skill. Having a family value of always being kind is one of the greatest blessings you can pass down to your children.
Talk It Out
Inevitably no matter what we do and how hard we try we will run into situations where our children are not being mindful of others and are in fact quite the opposite. Unless that’s just at my house? No? Ok, good. In fact, when children are being less than mindful it provides us the perfect opportunity to show them how they can be mindful in that moment. Using our voices and an open heart with our children gives them the opportunity to discuss with you the situation at hand and offer corrections for next time.
It's also helpful to have open conversations at home about their feelings and behaviors to help them understand how they are feeling. Being expressive of how we feel is the best way we can learn to be mindful of others and their feelings. Allow them to ask the tough questions about what makes each of us different and unique. Exposing them to all types of people will undoubtedly aid them in growing up to be an inclusive, kind and mindful person.
Give Them Praise
Just like we redirect our children when they are not making good choices, let’s also be sure to do the opposite. Show them praise when they are doing the right things and continue to encourage them to keep it up. So often we, as parents must be the people who correct our children when things aren’t going the way they are supposed to. But encouraging our children when they are doing amazing things is the biggest way to instill those skills for a lifetime. They will remember the praise more than the redirect and corrections over time.
The Power of Prayer
The last, and possibly most important tip we can share with you is to pray with your children. One of the best mindful skills we all have is the power of prayer. As we pray for others, compassion and mindfulness begin to exude themselves. Blessing are poured onto others (and ourselves) when we enter a place of being kind and compassionate for others. In prayer we can silently connect with God and share our love for others.
What other helpful tips do you have? Please share them in the comments as we all strive to raise kind, loving, accepting and mindful children. We’re in this together!
Have a blessed week!
Team Simply Blessed Kids