Start by practicing patience at home – Hey, we know it’s not easy when you’re trying to make dinner, return emails, and help your kiddo with homework all at once, but how you handle the situation matters. Being sensitive to how you treat and prioritize the loved ones around you helps your kids learn to do the same.
Put kids in situations where they have to think of others first – Volunteering on a community project or teaching them to give up their seat on a crowded train are good ways to teach them about putting others first. Encourage them to do acts of kindness, no matter how small.
But don’t reward them for helping others – The feeling they’ll get from doing the good deed is reward enough, so try not to offer incentives. You want to teach them to help other people anytime, not just when they think they’re getting something out of it.
Help them talk and work through feeling frustrated – Talk it out when there’s a fight between siblings or some elementary school BFF drama they’re experiencing. Talk about the things they said and felt in the moment that might not have been kind and try to help them see both sides of the situation.
And make it a point to do the same – Like when someone cuts you off in traffic, watch your reaction and hold in the four-letter words. Be a good example and show your kids that you see that driver’s point of view. Explain she might have been having a bad day or was rushing somewhere urgently. It’s okay to point out that she was still wrong, but seeing both sides helps them understand.