By Esther Lim, Associate General Secretary, Education, at the Singapore Kindness Movement
Moral guidance from parents can raise children to become kind, respectful and considerate individuals. Here are some quick tips on how you can impart character values to your child in the midst of our everyday hectic lives:
Tip 1: Values are best caught than taught
Children are like sponges and learn the most by observing and mimicking their parents’ attitudes and behaviour. Make a conscious effort to practise kindness yourself to those around you and your children will naturally follow.
Tip 2: Set healthy limits
Set clear and firm boundaries to teach children what is socially acceptable and appreciated. Learning discipline develops their ability to tolerate frustration and to manage themselves.
Tip 3: Every moment is a teaching moment
Create everyday opportunities for your children to practise kindness and use the five magic words (‘Thank you’, ‘You’re welcome’, ‘Please’, ‘Sorry’ and ‘Excuse me’). Don’t forget to affirm them when they do it right!
Tip 4: Open their eyes to the world around them
Take your children to visit people who are developmentally, economically or physically challenged so that they realise that there are others who may not be as privileged as them. Encourage them to volunteer their time to help others or share their books and toys. You can also find opportunities to volunteer together for a good cause as a family.
Tip 5: Share information and stories on kindness
Catch news stories related to kindness and discuss it with your children. It is a good opportunity to also incorporate teaching other values like empathy and consideration.
To help your little ones learn more about kindness and graciousness, you can bring them to The Kindness Gallery by the Singapore Kindness Movement, which recently relocated to Stamford Court. The Movement also offers Kindsville Tours which are aimed at helping preschoolers develop good social etiquette from a young age.