How to Teach Your Kids the Importance of Kindness: Tips and Strategies

This post may contain affiliate links. Full privacy policy and disclosure here.

When I was a kid, my mom would tell me that the world would be a better place if we were all kinder. She also told me that it was up to each of us to make it so.

Help Them Understand What Kindness Means

The first step in teaching your kids about kindness is to make sure they understand what it means to be kind, and why it’s important.

Kindness isn’t just about being nice. It also means being caring, compassionate and helpful. Kindness involves helping others when they need help—whether that’s giving their seat up on the bus for an elderly person or lending their friend a dollar when she forgot her lunch money.

It shows empathy toward other people by putting yourself in their shoes before judging them unfairly or harshly for something they did wrong (even if you don’t agree with what they did).

And most importantly, kindness is a way of showing love to others because we can’t truly love someone unless we’re thinking of what’s best for them above all else–and that takes real consideration on our part!

Help Them Understand What Emotions Can Be Triggered By Which Actions

Emotions can be triggered by actions. For example, if a child has some toys and another child wants the toy, the first child may feel like the second is taking his or her toys away and that triggers anger. Actions can also trigger emotions.

If you tell your children to clean up their toys and they don’t want to do it because they were playing with their friend and he or she was going to come over later, then this might make them feel sad or angry because they don’t want anyone else playing with their toys but them.

Emotions can also be triggered by actions; for example if one of your children does something nice for one of their siblings, such as helping him clean up his room or giving him money when he asked for it, this would likely make both children feel happy that day!

Model Kindness

Model kindness!

Your kids will pick up on your example, so be sure to do the right thing. Be kind to yourself, others and your child. How can you teach them to be kind if you are not kind?

If they see you doing things that are unkind or mean-spirited, they will think it’s okay for them as well. Modeling kindness includes being pleasant when speaking to others and treating animals kindly as well.

Be sensitive to messages that your child picks up from the media

The media can have a big influence on the way your kids think, especially when it comes to their views of other people and themselves.

For example, if you see a commercial for a car that shows an image of a woman as something to be admired and desired because she has large breasts, it’s likely that your child will pick up on this message.

And what might happen? She might feel bad about herself because she doesn’t meet society’s standards for beauty. She might compare herself negatively with other women who do meet those standards—and then feel even worse about herself because her body looks different from theirs!

The media can also teach children about kindness in many ways—for instance by showing good examples of people being kind to one another (like helping someone cross the street without getting hit by a car).

On the other hand, kids may learn from watching TV commercials or movies that kindness is not always rewarded; sometimes being kind makes things harder instead of easier!

What messages does your child hear from these sources? Is there anything you can do as parents to help him fill his mind with positive ideas about how he treats others?

Encourage Kind Habits

If your child sees that you speak kindly to others, they’ll want to do the same. If they see you giving money to a homeless man, they’ll want to do it too. Encourage kind habits by making kindness an everyday habit yourself!

Coach your child to pay attention to people’s facial expressions

Your child will be more likely to develop empathy for others if you coach them to pay attention to people’s faces.

Facial expressions are one of the most important ways that people communicate their emotions and feelings, so it’s helpful for your child to know what different facial expressions mean. For example, when someone smiles at you, it usually means that they’re happy; when someone frowns or looks angry, it usually means that they’re sad or angry.

You can explain how people often use facial expressions as a way of communicating their emotions: “Your brother just got hit with a ball! He looks like he might cry.”

Explain how some feelings can make our mouths drop open in surprise, while others cause us to scrunch our noses up or smile widely. You may even want your kids try out these expressions themselves so they’ll get better at reading them on other people’s faces!

Acknowledge kindness

One of the most important things you can do to help your child develop a sense of empathy and kindness is to acknowledge the kindness they show. This sounds simple, but it’s actually something we forget to do or underestimate how much it means to our kids.

It’s not easy to acknowledge kindness, especially when we’re struggling with our own emotions or having a bad day. We may feel exhausted or frustrated by our children’s behavior, which makes us less likely to notice their good deeds and more likely to focus on the negative stuff. But acknowledging what your child has done is an essential part of being kind yourself!

If you find yourself in this situation—recognizing something good that your child does but having trouble validating it—try focusing on one thing at a time: “You were kind when you asked me for help.” Or “I noticed that when I was tired today, you asked if I was okay.” When we point out these small acts of empathy and concern, we give children permission to express those feelings themselves so that they can continue acting with compassion towards themselves (and others).

Explain That Kindness Can Be Hard

Kids of all ages are likely to get frustrated by kind acts, and that’s normal! Sometimes you have to do something kind when it’s hard, or when you’re feeling sad or angry. It can be frustrating to take care of someone else’s feelings when you’re worried about your own.

It’s also important for kids to understand that we make mistakes sometimes. We don’t always know what will make people happy; even adults sometimes struggle with this!

Explain that being nice takes practice—and it’s OK if they aren’t perfect at it from the beginning!

Pay Attention to the Effects of Kindness

When you are teaching your child to be kind, it’s important to follow up on the impact of their kindness. We all know that kids are sometimes impulsive and don’t always think about the consequences of their actions. So, it’s not enough just to ask them what they did. You have to follow up and make sure they realize how their actions impacted others.

When my kids were younger and I was encouraging them in being kinder, I made sure that we talked about how different people might react when they were nice or helpful towards someone else. For example, if my son gave his teacher a flower because he was feeling happy from earning good grades at school that week, I would tell him that maybe she would be surprised by this gift but then she might feel touched by his thoughtfulness and kindness towards her as well as proud of his academic success!

Remembering this part of our conversations encourages children (and adults) who want goodness in their lives: paying attention means noticing both positive reactions from others AND negative ones which may include criticism or rejection based upon another person’s perception about oneself rather than reality itself.”

Show your child how to help people in need

One of the best ways to teach your child how to be kind is by showing them how to help people in need. When you see someone who’s injured or needs help, show your child how you help them. Be patient with your child and make sure that they understand what you are doing before moving on. If possible, give them an opportunity where they can practice helping someone themselves.

Be patient when teaching kindness because it may take time for your child to understand why helping others matters so much. Letting them know that you are proud of their actions and encouraging them will go a long way toward encouraging future acts of kindness as well!

Be Patient

Patience is key. Children are going to make mistakes, and you’re going to want to correct them immediately. Instead, try your best to let them learn from their own experiences. If they make a mistake (and they will), give them time to figure out what went wrong and how they could have done it differently next time.

You also shouldn’t expect your child to change overnight; they won’t be the same person at the end of the day as they were at the beginning! It takes years for us adults, so it makes sense that kids need even more time than that. We all know how much effort we put into changing ourselves—therefore, it would be unreasonable for our children not only replicate but improve upon this process in just a few months or even years. Patience with yourself will help you be patient with your child too!


It’s important for us to remember that raising our kids to be kind is a lifelong process. We can’t expect them to be perfect at it right away, but the more we talk about kindness and model it ourselves, the more likely they’ll be able to learn how to do it themselves. That’s what makes this such an exciting challenge; raising kids who are kind and generous will help make the world a better place!

More Like this

You may also like...