Here are a few ways to encourage empathy and kindness at home:
1. Nurture others: Learning to be caring is like learning a musical instrument – it takes practice, practice, practice. Create ongoing opportunities for your child to help out; examples include chores around the house, community and church projects or helping a an elderly neighbor.
2. Be a good example: Model the behavior that you would like them to have.
3. Help children to recognize their own feelings: Helping your child to learn what they are feeling and express it will allow them to better communicate their feelings with others; this will reduce destructive behavior and your child an outlet for negative emotions.
4. Take care of living things: Giving a child the opportunity to nurture a pet or a garden will help develop empathy.
5. Perform random acts of kindness: Performing acts of kindness as a family is a great way to build connections with the community and among yourselves.
6. Spend time in nature: As children learn to treat the world around them with respect and care, so they will also treat each other.
BY MELISSA HARDING