Children’s brains are sponges and they’re learning all the time. We teach our children in every part of life, through play, role modeling, positive discipline, and more. Below are some very strong traits we should all want our children to have. You have a big impact and can help your child gain these positive attributes.
Let’s Teach Our Children!
Children as young as two years old can begin to understand the concept of empathy. They can see that another child might be feeling sad and be able to understand why, even if they themselves do not feel sad as well. Labeling emotions and modeling empathy can help children to understand and value the ability to recognize another person’s emotions. The ability to empathize can often lead to acts of kindness in an effort to help the person in need.
Children often show kindness for one another on their own. However, it is always beneficial to point out opportunities for kindness, to model the behavior, and the praise them for exhibiting it on their own. From a simple hug to show they care, to sharing a toy, to helping a friend in need – children can show kindness in so many ways. Kids who are kind to others are more likely to receive kindness in return which feels rewarding in and of itself.
Being honest is a hugely important trait for children to learn. Showing children that honesty builds trust is so valuable. Trust goes both ways. A child needs to feel that when they tell the truth, they can trust their parent as well. Parents can teach honesty by rewarding the truth, being understanding, and showing appreciation for their child being forthcoming. While consequences still may be necessary, teaching children that you value their trust will encourage future opportunities for being truthful.
A true understanding of responsibility comes with the understanding of accountability. If something needs to be done and it isn’t completed, there are consequences. When giving children a job, even something as small as putting their shoes in the same place every time they take them off, they learn responsibility. If they leave their shoes all over the house, the chances are good that they won’t be able to find them the next time they are trying to get dressed. Learning accountability for their own belongings, chores, or even their own emotions, will lead to an understanding of responsibility.
Being responsible enough to complete a task is a great first step. Even better, being diligent to make sure that the task is done thoroughly and correctly will lead to a stronger work ethic later in life. It is important to teach our children that just throwing their toys onto the shelf might get the floor clean. However, it doesn’t help them to be able to better locate a specific toy they are searching for later on. Having the patience to put in diligent time will come with age. Teaching children to take pride in their work from the very start is an important start!
When caregivers build a strong, positive relationship with children, it builds the foundation of personality traits that help individuals lead a happy life. Learn more about how to help your child grow into a responsible, well-mannered individual in our online class, Mindfulness: Raising Self-Aware Children.
About The Author
Sarah Proctor has worked with young children for over 25 years as a teacher, childcare director, nanny, and mom of two girls. She has her Bachelors Degree in Early Childhood Education and Administration from UMass Amherst. In addition, Sarah has her Director 2 certification from the Department of Early Education and Care.