Kindness Matters: Adults, Take Note!

By: Rebecca Vacco-Giudice, LCSW
For questions or inquiries about speaking engagements, you can tweet them directly @RVGtherapy or email rvgtherapy@gmail.com

As the school year approaches we are reminded again about the reality of bullying, the long lasting implications and the challenges of bringing it to an end. Schools everywhere have policies, procedures, bullying prevention trainings and more in place to help combat bullying. However, all of these things are trumped every day by the small, but powerful acts of kindness that adults show to the children in their lives. We must foster compassion in children if we want to truly prevent bullying from taking root. Whether you are a parent, aunt or uncle, teacher, or simply come in contact with a child in the grocery store, your actions are vital in this mission to prevent verbal, physical and emotional aggression and put an end to bullying.

Give children an example to learn from
Children learn a lot from observing how adults in their lives act. When you are frustrated with others, do not call names, yell, or talk badly about them behind their backs. Rather, express your concern or frustration using words that show respect for the person you are addressing.

Practice random acts of kindness
When you encounter someone who needs help, help them. Teach a child that you can show compassion for others in any situation.

Show your child compassion
This first-hand experience of being on the receiving end of kindness can be most impactful in teaching him or her how to be compassionate towards others.

Make “kindness” an important part of your conversations
Take time every day to talk about ways your child showed compassion toward others and vice-versa. Talk explicitly about acts of compassion to help children learn that this is a value you would like them to possess. Point out situations where compassion was shown while you are watching television shows or movies together.

Volunteer
There are plenty of age-appropriate ways to introduce young people to volunteering and in turn allow them to become involved in showing compassion toward others, often times complete strangers. Participate in a charity walk, make holiday cards and pass them out at a local nursing home, serve a meal at a homeless shelter- these are experiences that will stay with your child for a lifetime and is an effective way of getting them to think about the needs of others in everyday life.

No matter your role, or the amount of time you spend interacting with children, it would not hurt any of us to make kindness and compassion a priority.

By: Rebecca Vacco-Giudice, LCSW
For questions or inquiries about speaking engagements, you can tweet them directly @RVGtherapy or email rvgtherapy@gmail.com

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