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7 Tips For Raising Kind Humans



Two weeks ago a friend I have known for more than half of my life lost her 15 year old son to suicide. It got me thinking about something I have preached a lot about, raising kind humans. I have said this (and truly believe it to my core) that raising kind humans is my number 1 goal one intention as a mom.  For me this means, raising two kind, accepting, strong and inclusive humans.


Do I want them to find passions, be successful, be smart and happy? Heck yes. (But if I needed to pick one thing that all of the above start with it would be a kind human.) But my children need to know that it starts with being an empathetic, kind human.


Here's why:


A kind human, leads with joy,


A kind human knows and acts on their own love language,m (filling their own cup too!) add in looks to understand and appreciate the love languages of others


A kind human accepts that everyone is different,


A kind human stands up to injustice,


A kind human spreads that kindness in everything they do,


A kind human knows that their words can change another persons day,


A kind human attracts positiveness,


A kind human makes a difference.


A kind human attracts and influences other kindness.


I have always felt strongly about raising kind humans, but hearing of my friends son's battles with a world that he didn't feel like he belonged in, really got me thinking: we HAVE to do more.


How do we do more to stop bullying, how do we allow and embrace kids to be unapologetically themselves, how do we stop this alarming increase in suicide and suicidal thoughts among young people, how do we have a kinder world? I don't know all of the answers but I do know I have to do more. And I do know that it starts with raising kind humans.


Here are seven tips to start parenting to instill kindness.


  1. Acknowledge differences.  In our home we know that their are different skin colors, cultures, languages, names, households, home incomes, differently abled people, people that learn differently, act differently, regulate differently,  communicate differently, move and overall that PEOPLE are ALL DIFFERENT, even within a family. We cannoy turn a blind eye to difference we have to acknowledge them.

  2. Show these differences. We do this with books, with movies, shows, with honest and open communication, and most of all by modeling acceptance of the diversity in the world. And this is not just one conversation, this is an every damn day thing. Will you cover everything? No. But opening the line on conversation that difference exist is the goal.

  3. Push for your school and community to highlight, educate and talk about these differences. It starts at home, it's continued in the classroom and HAS to be in our community.

  4. Teach empathy! Through these books, shows, movies, real life experiences we can ask our kids (and maybe even ourselves) how does that make you feel? How would you feel if that was you? (Both in joyful and difficult moments having our kids put themselves in peoples shoes can instill and teach empathy)

  5. Teach them to treat others how they want to be treated. We talk about this often in our home, "how would you feel if someone spoke to you like that" or "how would you feel if someone did that to you" etc. And I also turn to myself, and ask myself  the same thing, especially when I am upset... How would I want someone to ask me to clean up my mess or move faster or treat me when they are mad or sad. This sounds small but has helped me so much in parenting.

  6. Talk about feelings. Yes talk about feelings until we are blue in the face, from basic feelings, to how things make us feel, to checking in with our body needs (potty, hunger, thirst, tired) and having two feelings at once. Talk about feelings, listen to your kids talk about their feelings, and most importantly do not dismiss those feelings. Even when these feelings feel silly, validating them opens a door of trust. To be honest I have to work on this every day, sometimes I just want to rush through feeling that seem irrational but I think that when we validate our kids feelings they feel heard/seen which adds to who they become. Our kids also feel like they matter and then they use that same respect for someone else's feelings.

  7. Make being kind your own priority, and let your kids witness it. I make it a goal to do something kind and bring light to someone every week. Help a neighbor, drop off a meal or coffee to a friend who is having a hard week, buy coffee for the car behind you, leave a kind note for a waitress, mail some thinking of you cards, I could go on and on. But raising kind humans means we lead by example and one thing I like to do is to reflect on how it feels to do these acts of kindness out  loud in front of thr girls, " wow it made me feel so good to surprise our neighbor with a treat, or cooking this soup for my sick friend really makes me feel like I am. good friend. Naming that feeling is helpful.


We owe our kids a better more inclusive world where they get to be themselves and find joy, and this is possible if we first all make a big move to raising kind humans.


Let's do it together.


Xoxo


Natalie


If you ever feel alone, or have suicidal thoughts please know you are not alone and can always count on me to listen.


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