Final thoughts on noticing kindness. If you focused more on the children’s actions, you’re not alone. When it comes to children, our attention is often drawn more to the crying baby, the grabbing preschooler, or the siblings who stubbornly sits on top of each other. We want to teach our children kindness, yet the unkind acts often stand out more for us. That’s because what we focus on is what we value, and that, in turn, leads to more of a similar kind of behavior.
All children misbehave or act up from time to time. But they are also natural-born contributors to the welfare of others at all ages. Think about it — a baby smiles at an elderly man in the store, bringing them both joy. A preschooler tucks a crayon in his pocket so he and a friend can draw later. An 8 year old scoots over on the couch to make room for his sister. Children create moments of kindness, helpfulness, and compassion all around us.
The key to raising children who actively demonstrate kindness, helpfulness, and compassion is to train our minds to notice those acts when they occur. Noticing children’s kindness, and praising it, not only encourages more of that kind of behavior, it has other benefits as well. It expands a child’s consciousness, fosters the rooting of a positive value system, and primes the brain for future success in school, society, and life.
Next time a little about envy and jealousy.