Recently I was asked:
How we can raise kind and empathetic kids (especially in what seems like a pretty harsh world)?
Here is my answer (I used “he” for simplicity):
We model it. We model kindness and empathy to our children, others, and most importantly to ourselves.
In order for a child to be empathic and kind he must value it, which means he must feel it, experience it, and be “given” it. When we model being kind and empathic to ourselves, we teach our children to do so, too. If he can always feel free to check in with his own heart and do what feels kindest and most empathic to himself, he will find his way towards expressing that in the world towards others.
NOTE: Sometimes we want our kids to be kind but what we are actually asking them to do is sacrifice what they want or how they feel for others. We are often asking them to notice the impact of their actions on others and disregard what is true for them. We often want them to behave a certain way so we don’t have to feel the discomfort of other people’s reactions and opinions. It sets them up for a life of people-pleasing, approval-seeking, and living their life for other people.
Be kind, gentle, and loving to yourself first and you will find you can’t be any other way towards others. And since our kids learn more from who we are and what we do than what we say, our kids will learn the art of kindness and empathy.
Much love to you all!
Here is an interesting site to peruse: