Sunday Jan 01, 2023
18 - How to Teach Children to be Kind to Others
Sunday Jan 01, 2023
Sunday Jan 01, 2023
I'm Bill Corbett, the author of the book LOVE, LIMITS & LESSONS: A PARENT'S GUIDE TO RAISING COOPERATIVE KIDS and I've spent over 25 years working with parents and teachers with children with challenging behaviors. By listening to this creating cooperative kids podcast, you'll learn techniques for getting your kids to cooperate with you and the result will be having children who are more loving and fun to be with. These techniques are respectful to both you and your child and when practiced over and over, you'll find yourself with more peace and calmness in your home, or in your classroom if you're a teacher.
Kids and teens are naturally self-centered. But with kids increasing use of social media, it's gotten even worse. Constant selfies, posts, focusing on number of likes and the ease of creating videos, it's now called the ME GENERATION and it's even harder to teach our children to think more about others and less about themselves.
One way that parents can help to increase the empathy in their children is to find activities for the whole family to participate in, to set an example of what it looks like to be in service to others. One Thanksgiving I announced to my 3 kids that we were going to spend Thanksgiving in a different way this year... we were going to bring an entire Thanksgiving meal to someone who didn't have a family. My two older daughters rolled their eyes and whined about this change.
Thanksgiving Day arrived and we had our meal all packed up in containers as we headed to an address of a person assigned to us. We headed across town and arrived at a row of very small homes. All five of us carried bags and containers as we walked up to the door and knocked. An elderly woman answered the door and we introduced ourselves. She invited us in and began to cry. My kids did too. I saw the tears welling up in their eyes as they quietly watched her thanking us over and over.
At first, I thought it was going to be a very quiet ride back home after sharing Thanksgiving dinner with the woman, but my kids were very chatty and talked about the whole experience, all the way back. Something obviously changed for them that day as they experienced the act of giving to someone else and I knew it felt good to them. Following that day, I saw clear signs that they were having more thoughts, more often about giving to others in other ways. What kinds of things could YOU do to help get your kids to think more about being in service to others?
One of my many guests that I interviewed on my CREATING COOPERATIVE KIDS TV show made it his personal mission to help adults get kids out of their own heads and teach them about caring more for others through the act of paying it forward. Dr. Clint Steele spent one year launching and leading the pay if forward project which included a limited run magazine and projects for youth to get involved. Listen in now to my interview of Dr. Steele. I asked him to share more ideas for parents on increasing the empathy in their kids and teens.
We get so many chances to set an example for our kids, of being in service to others and unfortunately, too much mind chatter for many parents causes them to miss them. As a parent, I worked hard at teaching my kids by looking for examples of acts of service around us wherever we happened to be. One day my son and I had just pulled into the parking lot at the mall, and I saw an event that I used to teach my young son. I brought his attention to a car just ahead of us. An elderly couple had just pulled up and the woman was driving. She got out of the car and walked around to the passenger side to open the door for the man who may have been her husband. Handing the man a cane, she helped him exit the car and together they walked hand-in-hand into the mall. I wanted him to see that act of kindness and that it didn't matter whether the person being helped was a man or a woman.
Children and teens can learn acts of kindness by: witnessing events, seeing examples set by their parents or participating in acts of kindness themselves. What have you done to teach the art of paying it forward to your children? What can you do to keep the lesson going for them?
If you have questions that I can answer for you, I hope you will consider joining my RAISING AN INDEPENDENT CHILD Facebook page. I'd love to hear from you and help you implement some of these ideas. But let me caution you. Don't try to implement everything you learn in this podcast, all at once. It could overwhelm you. Pick just one or two tips at a time and do them over and over. Then replay the episodes at a later time to learn more. Thanks again for listening and please consider sharing or subscribing to this podcast. All information in this podcast is the property of Bill Corbett and Cooperative Kids Publishing. Copyright 2023. All rights reserved.
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