Raising conscious, compassionate children doesn’t just happen. It takes skill, repetition and stamina.
Research consistently shows that our day-to-day actions as adults is ultimately what kids repeat and create in their own lives.
With that said, here’s a list of daily actions to support you in reinforcing positive parenting or grandparenting.
1.Apologize to your child when you are wrong.
Forcing your kid to apologize to another doesn’t teach the lesson. When you show your child that you take accountability for your actions, you are modeling responsibility and maturity.
2. Admit to making a mistake.
Use verbiage that models it’s okay to make a mistake. Such as, “Oh my goodness! I made a mistake. I read the directions wrong on how to do this. Making a mistake is normal. I’m glad I caught it early.”
3. Actively and attentively listen to your child.
Kids know when you’re faking listening. We know – sometimes you can’t hear one more time how to score 100 points on a video game. But here’s the thing, listening is about worthiness. When you actively listen, you are teaching your child that they matter and that they are worthy of your attention.
4. Set boundaries in front of them so they can see what clear communication looks like.
Such as, “Sorry Aunt Edna, I won’t be at your event next week, but I appreciate you asking. Perhaps another time.”
Or “No thanks, I’m not loaning that to you. That’s something really important to me and I don’t loan it out. Thanks for understanding.”
5. Model gratitude.
Research shows gratitude changes perspectives, perceptions, and moods and even helps us connect to others. By verbally demonstrating your gratitude, you are teaching a habit that will impact them their entire lives.
6. Specific appreciation.
For adults, the number one reason someone stays in their job is because they feel appreciated. When you start appreciation of your child when they’re young, you build their self-esteem and worthiness doesn’t become an issue. When you specifically appreciate, pick something detailed.
Rather than just “You’re such a good person, Johnny,” try “Johnny your kindness to your cousin when you were playing checkers touched my heart. Letting him go first was lovely. I love how kind you are to others.”
Our time with our kids is short. By setting a positive example, we can be a positive and lasting influence in our children’s lives.
This article was created by Project Forgive, a non-religious, non-partisan 501c3 educational organization.
Our approach is unique. Our mission is to impact children’s access to grow, learn and play. Rather than focus on the children directly, we impact their environment through those who touch their lives on a daily basis: such as probation officers, teachers, parents, and community leaders. We do this through free educational resources, leadership training such as our progressive and popular tool “Accepting the Apology You’ll Never Receive,” and through our social reach of millions across the globe.