Respect and Kindness
We all want our children to be respectful and kind, however, in the busy day to day of our lives these two qualities are often dropped in our mad rush to get through the day. Teach your children the importance of respect and kindness. Try to model this behaviour with the people in your life, including your children. Actively seeking out opportunities to act in respectful ways toward our children, spouse, friends, neighbours and strangers we meet, will go a long way to ensuring our children act in the same way.
||Dealing with disrespect – Tell your children (in the heat of the moment) that although you feel like yelling or saying something nasty in response to their disrespect or unkindness, you are not going to do it. Then walk away until you are cooled down or tell them calmly and respectfully what you would like them to do. Later, when everyone is calm discuss what happened and why you acted the way you did.
||Thumbs Up! At dinner or at bedtime ask your children to tell you about one thing they did that deserves a “thumbs up”. Perhaps they were kind to someone at school or they showed respect to someone who was bugging them. Share your experiences as well and let your children give you a “thumbs up” too!
||Random Acts of Kindness – Challenge your children to commit a random act of kindness during the day. They should try not to let the person know they did it or if it is an act that is seen, not make a big deal of it. Each day, casually talk with your children about your random act of kindness. It might be letting someone in front of you in line at the grocery store or waving someone in during traffic. Talk to your child about what you did and how it made you feel, as well as how you think the recipient felt.