Unfortunately, we live in a society where kindness isn’t exactly encouraged. You can deny it all you want, but I can tell you that I still have reservations about lending a helping hand to people. I often wonder what those around me will think if I show compassion, even though I desperately want to do so. You can probably blame my upbringing for that, and it is something that I work to overcome. It turns out that many of the people around me feel the same way – they want to come forward, they want to help, but they aren’t sure how to go about it.
We live in unkind times, whether you want to accept it or not. What do I mean by unkind times? Honestly, for the last eight years, we really were on a solid path, but we’re facing a time now when people are saying “No, I don’t want to be politically correct”, which honestly translates into “No, I don’t want to be a good person”. When you’re raising children in this environment, you’re understandably concerned, but I want to believe that we’re the gateway generation – we’re ushering in a new era of kindness, and everything that is happening around us right now, is just a bump in the road. It all starts at home, and it all starts with your home, your teaching, and most importantly, your love.
Teach them to Love
If you want to raise a kind child then it all has to start in the home. We all start to understand our self-worth by the way that we are treated, and while I don’t condone this statement in any other capacity, you cannot learn to love others until you love yourself. Seriously, in any other context that would be a horrible statement, but when you’re talking about childhood development, it rings true most of the time.
The typical mode of parent that we’ve seen needs to be replaced. There are certain phrases that absolutely need to be weeded out, such as “bad boy” or “you’re lazy”. On top of that, “you should be ashamed of yourself” is something that really needs to go south for the winter – and then stay there. There are other phrases that can be used in place of them, like:
- We all make mistakes, but did you learn anything?
- If you could do it again, what would you do differently?
Instead of tearing them down, we need to get them to really think about what they did wrong in the first place, and most importantly, build them up so that they become a better person. Is it going to be easy? Absolutely not, but is it going to be worth it? Yes, without a doubt.
It Comes Down to You
At the end of the day, it all comes down to you and how you raise your children. The most important thing that you can do in the process of raising them is to accept that you are human. You are going to make mistakes, and you need to own up to them rather than covering them up. Remember: your children are watching you whether you realize it or not and they WILL pick up on your behavior. If you present a personality that promotes dishonesty, they will follow suit every single time, and that really isn’t something that you want. Instead, let them know that they too are human and that they too can make mistakes. So often, children are raised to believe that their parents are infallible, perhaps even to the point of punishment if they happen to disagree.
Pay Attention to the Outside World
The world we live in today is far different from the one that we grew up in. Social media and other connectivity software has made it very possible for one to literally bring the bullying home, and for this reason, we cannot help but recommend that you advise your children to unplug for at least a few hours every night. As draconian as it sounds, make sure you know who they are talking to online, and make sure that they are not being exposed to too much negativity. As parents, and adults, we are exposed to our fair share of negativity and it’s not something that we want our children to deal with – not yet anyway. There will be plenty of time for that once they grow up and have children of their own.