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Creating a Culture of Kindness at Home

Author: Z. Andrew Jatau
Published Date: Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Kindness is an important ingredient in a peaceful and loving home. A household in which people are kind to one another is filled with respect, empathy and caring. When kindness is a priority, it improves family relationships and enhances interactions with others outside of the home. Below are three things parents can do to instill a value of kindness.

Be Kind

Children are perceptive and are constantly watching how we interact with them and with others. At a young age, they begin to emulate these behaviors and treat others in the way they see us treat others. If we want our children to be kind, we have to show them how to be kind. It is our responsibility to teach and model kindness when we parent our children and interact with others.

Do Kind

Doing something kind for others generally fills us with happiness and warmth. We recognize the positive effects that our actions can have. Getting children involved with performing kind acts allows them to experience these feelings for themselves. When children see the positive impact of their actions, they feel empowered, motivated and want to do more. Parents can encourage children to do kind acts in the home like clearing the table, or sharing a toy with a sibling. There are many opportunities to spread kindness in the community, too. For example, donating toys to a shelter, writing a note to wish someone well, or helping an elderly neighbor mow the lawn.

Be Consistent

Being consistent can be a challenge for most adults. There are situations when it becomes difficult to remain kind and calm. These moments are not lost on children. They are watching to see how we respond and treat others when we are upset or frustrated. It is important for parents to model healthy ways of coping when faced with challenging situations. Children need to know how to resolve conflict without losing their temper or being mean to others. Though it is important to try and remain consistently kind, there might be moments when your child witnesses you responding to a situation in a less-than-kind way. This can be a teachable moment if you process the incident with your child and identify ways you could have handled the situation in a more compassionate manner.

Z. Andrew Jatau is a licensed professional counselor in private practice and the founder and CEO of Mylemarks LLC, a company focused on creating tools for parents and professionals that promote healthy emotional and social skill development in children. He and his wife, Chelsey, are parents to 24-month -old Kiera.

Z. Andrew will be providing a free CHKD parent workshop, Creating a Culture of Kindness at Hampton Healthy Families on Wednesday, April 12 from 6-8 p.m. Register here.

About Z. Andrew Jatau

I currently work as a mental health counselor at my private practice in Virginia Beach. In 2015, I founded a business called Mylemarks that focuses on creating tools for healthy social and emotional development in children. I have also authored three workbooks for the company. When I’m not working, I enjoy hanging with the family, playing or watching sports, and listening to music.