Every parent wants to help raise a well-rounded, generous child who can grow up to become a valued member of society and make the world a better place. It isn’t unusual to worry that any small mistake might cause your child to grow into a selfish adult, but there’s no need to beat yourself up over imperfect parenting every now and then. Nurturing your child in order for them to want to help others and make a positive difference in the world is simpler than you think since humans truly want to be kind. Here are some ways you can guide your child and help them flourish into a generous and kind adult.
Spend Time with Other Children
This is especially pertinent if your child has no siblings or other relatives of a similar age to regularly play with. Set aside plenty of time for your child to interact and play with other children, either at play dates, clubs, or through school. By communicating their needs to people of a similar age to themselves, they must learn that not everyone is always attentive to their needs, and therefore compromise must be reached on occasion. Some children are more naturally inclined to react well or badly to friction between themselves and others, but with time, most kids become capable of making friends through play.
Another excellent way to reinforce the message of empathy is by giving your child plenty of opportunities to watch, play with and care for other living creatures. Teach them to show tenderness to animals through example. Even if you are personally scared of mice, for example, try not to pass this fear on to your child. Instead, encourage them to see animals as deserving of respect and consideration, just like humans.
Celebrate Special Occasions
Celebrating your child’s birthday is one thing, but it is quite another to ask them to sit through the same parade when it’s held for someone else. By showing your child that everyone is celebrated once in a while, they will learn to see that everyone has value and should be treated kindly. For example, make them feel loved and appreciated if they bring you Mother’s day gifts, even if you know someone else helped wrap them. Show your child that celebrating the successes or special occasions of others doesn’t make them worth any less.
Similarly, reward your child for being generous with their possessions where appropriate. Try not to go overboard, but let them know that you noticed and appreciated that they might not have wanted to let their little brother take their toy but that they were kind enough to let him play with it for a while.
Let Them Make Mistakes
Like everyone, children are rarely perfect. You must exercise patience when guiding your child to be more generous and kind since they will often slip up and step backward. This doesn’t mean that either of you has failed. It just means that learning takes time.