A child is not born angry, hostile, abusive or violent; nor is he born loving, caring, kind or considerate. Children gradually learn to become the way they are. As they interact with their environment and significant people it in, they are pushed, pulled, molded and shaped by life experiences. This is wonderful news because it allows us many opportunities to be a positive influence on children. We have the knowledge, strategies and motivation to help children fulfill their potential, become a positive force in society, and a joy to be with. Here are 10 things you can do to help children become kind, considerate and thoughtful human beings.
Speak to each other in a quiet, calm tone of voice. Avoid calling to your child from another room. Find her, make eye contact, and speak softly. Regulate the background noise from television, radio and other audio/visual equipment; allow only one A/V or e-device on in each room.
Set an example by asking, not commanding, your child to do things. Don’t forget “Please,” “Thank you,” “Excuse me” and other nice things that you learned from Grandma. They still work!
We all need hugs, the more the better. Younger children enjoy cuddling and being held on your lap. Older kids may respond better to a high-five or secret handshake. Teenagers may tolerate a pat on the back or a brief bear hug. Don’t force affection if a child is resistant.
Teach children to speak to people by name. Children should address adults in a respectful manner, using Mr., Mrs., Ms. or other appropriate title.
Home should be a safe and loving place, where we find comfort and support. Make your child feel needed and wanted by acknowledging her inner qualities such as honesty, dependability or trustworthiness. Each child should enjoy a unique and significant place within the family unit.