Tis the season of “Giving Thanks”! And teaching your children the importance of giving back to others is an integral part of a child’s character development. “Many parents in today’s world find it more important than ever to raise compassionate children.” Parents are placing more values on the importance of raising well-rounded individuals and striving to teach the importance of generosity, compassion and gratitude.
Here are a few tips from Dr. Gloria Julius, vice president of education at Primrose Schools, on how to teach your little one to give back and care for others:
Give kindness a shout-out. Genuine, specific, positive feedback is a powerful way to influence children’s behavior. They are constantly seeking approval from the significant adults in their lives, so next time you witness an act of kindness–no matter how small–let your child know that you noticed and the impact the act is likely to have on the recipient. Even very young children are constantly looking for cause and effect relationships and learning that they have the ability to help someone can become a motivator of caring behavior.
Address unacceptable behavior. It is also important to help children understand the negative consequences their unacceptable behavior can have. Once again, being specific in your feedback helps them learn the cause and effect relationship. Children aren’t born knowing what is acceptable and not acceptable, and it does no good to tell a child he was “bad.” Be specific about what the behavior was that you didn’t like and why. It’s important to address the specific behavior immediately and give your child a positive alternative.
Practice what you preach. As parents, we are our children’s first teachers. Children are like little scientists, observing what’s going on in the world around them. Consider the many interactions that your child witnesses you participate in each day and ask yourself if you are serving as a good role model. How do you interact with others on the phone, in traffic or in line at the grocery store? Keep in mind your body language as well as what you say. By setting an example early on for your child you are actively participating in their character development.
Give back. Giving back is an important year-round activity that needs to become a habit if you want your child to learn what it means. Volunteering plays an important role in the development of character. It teaches children that they can do things that positively impact the world around them. Even young children can learn to become active participants in their communities.
Role play. Role playing with your child is an excellent way to teach compassion and empathy. Ask your child to put themselves in someone else’s shoes. Pose questions like, “If you were new to school and did not know anyone, how would you want your classmates to treat you on your first day?”
These life lessons, if taught at an early age, will help lay the foundation for your child’s success in every aspect of their life.
Happy Holidays from Primrose School of Christopher Robin!
Primrose School of Christopher Robin is an accredited private preschool that provides a premier educational child care experience. The Leader in Educational Child Care®, we partner with parents to help children build the right foundation for future learning and life. Our goal is to help children have fun while building Active Minds, Healthy Bodies and Happy Hearts®.
To learn more about the Primrose summer camp experience at the Primrose School of Christopher Robin, please call 678-339-0107 to arrange a tour of the campus.
Check out our iheartprimrose.com website to read what past and present families have to say about their Primrose Experience.
Primrose Christopher Robin is located at 5425 McGinnis Village Place, Alpharetta, GA 30005.
Image courtesy of Grant Cochrane / FreeDigitalPhotos.net