03 Sep Raise Kind Children with These 3 Steps
Today we are talking about raising kind kids.
We all want kind kids. Kindness is a fruit of the spirit, and we definitely want to see the fruits of the spirit cultivated in our children.
As our world seems to grow crueler, it feels like it is harder to raise kind kids. They are surrounded by unkindness on social media and the internet in general. So how do we raise kids with kind hearts in a cruel atmosphere?
Did you know you can listen to this blog post instead of reading it? It’s true! Just click below!
Before We Get Started…
Change Your View of Success
Don’t base your kid’s success off the world’s view. The world tells you that success means raising a child to become an adult who has lots of money, power, and notoriety.
God defines success differently.
If we look at the Bible, it is clear that a successful child is one who is joyful, cares about others, loves the Lord, radiates the fruits of the spirit, ect.
Get Your Kids Playing Offense Not Defense
I used to constantly worry about my children having to fight against the ways of the world. Then I heard God tell me, “You kids need to play offense, not defense.”
Defense is the team trying to keep the other team from gaining ground, but offense is the team striving to gain ground and push forward.
My kids aren’t called to survive this world. They are called to change it.
1. Set the example
It starts with you.
Are you kind?
Our kids pick up on unkindness around them. We once had a restaurant hostess be very rude to our family. Although I thought my kids might be oblivious to it, they will still bring up the day the hostess was mean to their family.
Your kids are always watching.
*Note* Social media is a common place for people to forget to be kind. Do you respond to unkind Facebook comments with equally unkind comments?
Even if the comments are directed toward someone else and you want to defend them, it isn’t okay to respond unkindly.
I recently had someone respond to an innocent Facebook comment of mine with a mean and cruel accusation. Although I wanted to respond angrily or delete the comment, I felt like God wanted me to respond as He would. My kind response actually prompted the other person to apologize!
Remember that you will have to starve your flesh to be kind. You might not get in the last word. You might not win the argument. Yet, you will win so much more for your kids.
2. Help Them Live it Out
You can’t just tell them, “Go be kind.” You have to explain what it looks like.
I used to tell my boys to go clean their room, but it never got cleaned right. I had to go in and explain to them what it meant to clean their room well. That meant pointing out the clothes that needed picked up and the bed that needed to be made.
Here are ways to help your kids live out kindness:
- Point out ways they can be kind. For example, when I tell my boys to go pick up the shoes in the living room, they say, “But those aren’t mine.” I explain that this is a great way to be kind by putting away someone else’s shoes.
- Encourage random acts of kindness. I keep a stack of one dollar bills around the house, and when I see one of my children doing a random act of kindness, I reward them with a dollar. This reinforces that kindness is a good thing.
- Find verses to share with them. If you find a Bible verse on kindness (and there are plenty of them!), print it out, hang it where your kids can see it, and encourage them to memorize and apply it.
3. Encourage Them with Praise
Make sure you positively reinforce kindness with plenty of praise. If possible, praise your child in front of others.
I like to reward my children for acts of kindness in front of others so they know that even when they think their actions are going to go unnoticed, everything they do matters. They may have quietly helped someone, but I will publicly praise them.
Try to encourage your children specifically. I talked a lot about this in How to Raise Confident Kids, and you should read that post to get an in-depth look at what that means.
For example, instead of telling your child, “You’ve done a good job lately,” say, “I really appreciated it when you vacuumed out the car without me having to ask you to.” Tell them about a specific action you want to praise them for.
This will help your praise to keep meaning something special rather than just becoming habit.
Are You Ready to Raise a World Changer?
Do you want to take the next step on the journey of raising world changers? I created a course called ‘Raising World Changers’ to help you raise kids who have a heart for God and a desire to change the world for Him.
There are audio lessons, video lessons, and a workbook. Everything is built on practical steps that are realistic for busy moms. I have five kids ages seven and under in my care right now, so I understand the need for a course that doesn’t take a lot of time.
There is a convenient app you can download so it can travel with you on your phone, and it is self-paced to perfectly fit into your busy mom life.
I want to put this tool into your hands so you can be the mom God called you to be and the mom you desire to be.