We love our kids, but by design they are naturally self-centered. It’s not a reflection of them as people, kids just have a hard time seeing the big picture and the world around them. Child development happens, day by day, as they learn more about themselves and those in their world. As children grow, in both age and maturity, it’s important for them to be more aware, and mindful, of the needs of others around them, like the needs of their siblings, parents, grandparents, neighbors, and those outside of their little bubble. Check out these tips for teaching children to be generous and mindful of the needs of others.
- Give back. Whether you do so in time or donations, there are so many things families can do together to give back to their local communities. De-clutter the closets and donate your gently used clothing items, shoes, and toys to a local charity. Or, volunteer as a family at a local food bank. Whichever way your family chooses to give back it will help your child see the bigger picture and the importance of helping those around them.
- Teach and encourage empathy. Empathy is simply a trait that is developed over time and with children, it begins with understanding and expressing their emotions. Once they have mastered their own feelings, they can begin to understand and pick up on the feelings of others. Here are 4 ways to help your child develop empathy.
- Give credit where credit is due. Praising your child when they do something nice for someone, whether a friend or family member, will help them correlate the positive feedback to their good deed, encouraging them to do it again.
- Lead by example. With everything in life, children naturally look up to their parents and caregivers and mimic their behaviors. By setting a positive example for your child and being generous yourself, your child will naturally pick up on those behaviors and follow suit.
Children need exposure to others in order to practice and develop their life skills. One great way is to get them involved in kid-focused activities like The Little Gym. Check out a location near you!