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Old 10-15-2013, 06:52 AM
 
Location: In an apartment somewhere
611 posts, read 227,647 times
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Question How to instill positive attributes like kindness, empathy and compassion into children?

Todayís children are future driving force of our society. Not only they need to have specific skills and knowledge to continue developing our civilization, they also need to be decent human beings as well. Otherwise, the future world would just be strong in technology and low on humanity. Schooling alone will never do enough in that regard. So what is the best way to achieve that?

Iím single and have no kids, but Iíd surely want to know how if I did.

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Old 10-15-2013, 07:02 AM
 
Location: Brentwood, Tennessee
12,360 posts, read 9,698,362 times
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1) Model the behavior you want.

2) Praise them when they behave positively.

3) Remind them, without shaming them, of the desired behavior when they don't do it.

4) When they do step out of line in a serious way (biting, hitting etc.) the correction should be immediate and serious enough that they don't do it again.

5) Lather, rinse, repeat. In other words, just because your kid can tie his own shoes or even drive doesn't mean they don't need your guidance anymore.
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Old 10-15-2013, 08:28 AM
 
1,780 posts, read 1,809,856 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wmsn4Life View Post
1) Model the behavior you want.

2) Praise them when they behave positively.

3) Remind them, without shaming them, of the desired behavior when they don't do it.

4) When they do step out of line in a serious way (biting, hitting etc.) the correction should be immediate and serious enough that they don't do it again.

5) Lather, rinse, repeat. In other words, just because your kid can tie his own shoes or even drive doesn't mean they don't need your guidance anymore.
Good advice.

I'd add - we try and surround our daughter with people who are a positive influence on her. I seek out parents and play dates with those who also feel the same that I do.

Ultimately - the happiest people I know are those who are kind and have strong connections.

We are lucky to have the means to give our daughter things that we didn't have and that many others aren't able to provide for their children - she has lessons, activities, nice toys, a beautiful room of her own with en suite bathroom, her college is taken care of , heck - the kid vacations in Hawaii three times a year. But none that will make her happy is she turns out a horrible brat with no friends, LOL
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Old 10-15-2013, 09:30 AM
 
Location: southwestern PA... where the nest is now empty!
11,337 posts, read 12,976,396 times
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"How to instill positive attributes like kindness, empathy and compassion into children?"

By displaying positive attributes, like kindness, empathy, and compassion.
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Old 10-15-2013, 10:39 AM
 
Location: Western Washington
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Model the desired behavior and discourage inappropriate behavior....lovingly, but firmly.
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Old 10-15-2013, 10:57 AM
 
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Funny we were just discussing this with my husband. We had a teacher's conference last week and my 2nd grader's teacher had some really nice things to say about my son. One thing she emphasized was how kind he is. She told us she usually pairs him with shy kids in the class projects because he is very patient and kind. So while we were driving home, my husband said "I guess we are doing something right". My point of view is that my son is simply good natured and kind by nature. True we always tell him to be nice and respectful to everyone and he is raised in a very healthy family but I feel even if we didn't, he would still be a kind and a loving child. My husband disagrees and gives us a credit for nurturing him properly. I still think some kids are just good and loving. You could see that in families with two or more children. Even though they are raised in the same family, one child is kind and the other is a meany. I think I have also seen some studies in recent years which indicated nature may have more to do with a child's character. Don't get me wrong, of course we should always try to raise them to be respectful and loving but some kids have issues regardless of what type of nurture they get. Am I wrong in thinking this way?
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Old 10-15-2013, 11:05 AM
 
Location: Colorado
4,265 posts, read 7,114,355 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ladyvictoria View Post
Funny we were just discussing this with my husband. We had a teacher's conference last week and my 2nd grader's teacher had some really nice things to say about my son. One thing she emphasized was how kind he is. She told us she usually pairs him with shy kids in the class projects because he is very patient and kind. So while we were driving home, my husband said "I guess we are doing something right". My point of view is that my son is simply good natured and kind by nature. True we always tell him to be nice and respectful to everyone and he is raised in a very healthy family but I feel even if we didn't, he would still be a kind and a loving child. My husband disagrees and gives us a credit for nurturing him properly. I still think some kids are just good and loving. You could see that in families with two or more children. Even though they are raised in the same family, one child is kind and the other is a meany. I think I have also seen some studies in recent years which indicated nature may have more to do with a child's character. Don't get me wrong, of course we should always try to raise them to be respectful and loving but some kids have issues regardless of what type of nurture they get. Am I wrong in thinking this way?
As a child of unkind parenting I agree with this but also that the example parents set does make a huge difference. If you are kind and compassionate, chances are good that your children will be too. I don't mean to blow my own trumpet, but I have made a huge effort to be kinder and more gracious towards people in the past few years as I've come to understand what a lousy example my own family set for many years.
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Old 10-15-2013, 11:25 AM
 
535 posts, read 516,547 times
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Model the behavior.

Recent example, we were going to water polo tournament, a friend asked for her son to ride with us, it was 1 1/2 hours away from where we live. DS and her son are not friends. It's not that he's a bad kid or that my son is, their personalities just don't mesh well. DS was grumbling, "why do we have to give him a ride?" I stated because its the right thing to do, we have room in the car, and I'm not telling the mom no. If he needed a ride, we would want someone to help us out.

DS is very mature for his age, 16 and is very hard on his peers and some of the decisions they make. He doesn't get why most teenagers act like they do. DS has no interest in pop culture or brand name clothes so he stands out from his peers.

That's what we're working on now, not to be so hard on people who are not as smart/mature, etc....as he is. I want him to be more accepting of people and realize that no one is perfect, including him, and to meet people where they're at, not where he THINKS they should be.
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Old 10-15-2013, 01:37 PM
 
Location: Texas
812 posts, read 331,130 times
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Besides just modeling the behavior you want to see, talk about it.

From the time they were babies, I would talk to my kids about what was going on in the books we read or the shows we watched on tv. How do you think this character felt when that happened? How would they have felt if this happened instead? Is that girl sad or happy? Why?

They learned to make the direct connection between an action and its effect on someone else.

I tell them why I do things the way I do. along the lines of "We let the lady go in front of us at the grocery store because she had fewer things and looked like she was in a hurry, and we weren't."

When they say bad things about other kids (because they will), we talk about whether we could have misunderstood the motivation. Was Molly being mean because her feelings were hurt or because she was trying to get your attention? When Molly does X, let's talk about the appropriate way to handle it (and no, I'll never be your friend again! is probably not the best way).

My older two (6 and 7) are very empathetic people. The oldest can almost always see things from other people's perspectives as well as her own, and we're just working on thinking things through instead of reacting.

The 4-year-old boy is still learning.
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Old 10-15-2013, 03:19 PM
 
2,878 posts, read 1,442,220 times
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None of us parents got our kids with an instruction manual so the best you can do is go with your own upbringing, morals, beliefs, a sense of right and wrong, and throw in a lot of love for good measure.

Some people think it is so hard to raise kids, but I found it to be the best job I ever had and loved every second of it. It must have worked out, as both of my Sons are productive, law abiding, kind, loving men who are sensitive to the feelings of others and have respect for others.

The biggest thing a person can do is walk the walk.......in other words, do not expect your kids to do something you do not do on a daily basis yourself. They do not miss a trick, and if they see you doing something that is questionable they are going to take that information and run with it.

I found that it was also important to correct situations immediately, while they were fresh in my kid's minds. For example, if they misbehaved or did something wrong, we took care of it at that moment and made sure they knew it was not acceptable and why.

It really isn't rocket science, just good parenting.

Don
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