Here at HELLO!, and in aid of our new campaign, #HelloToKindness, we've looked far and wide for the best techniques to inspire children to be kinder. As a mum myself, I am worried that my two-year-old will grow up in a world full of negativity and trolls, so I've spoken to Deena Billings, Head of Childcare at Busy Bees, who has shared four easy to follow steps which can help future generations to be kinder to themselves and others - which will in turn help make the world a better place.
1. Reinforce good behaviour
If your child's done something kind, a simple 'well done' or a 'thank you' can go a really long way. Make a big deal out of the little things they do to help build their confidence. Another good tip is to turn negative actions into positives. If you've asked your toddler to stop throwing their toys at you for what feels like the hundredth time, try showing them what you want them to do instead.
Emily Nash explains our campaign
2. Role models
Children's minds are like sponges, they're always learning and picking up on other people's behaviours. Act as a positive role model that your little one can learn from and they will start following your example in no time. This will also help them develop confidence and self-awareness. If your child is at nursery, speak with the nursery manager or their key worker so you can join up the positive things you're promoting at home with those in the nursery.
READ: Why it's cool to be kind like Kate and Meghan Markle
3. Teach respect
Activities where children learn through play are a great way to help them to be kind and accepting of cultural differences and diversity, all while having fun! Try role-play, books, posters, storytelling, cooking activities, jigsaws and musical games. This also helps your child develop positive relationships ready in time for school.
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It's important to let children work things out for themselves, but remember all children develop at their own pace and sometimes they'll need extra guidance to show them that what they are doing is or isn't ok. If you continue to spot unkind behaviour, try to work out what the trigger is so you can prevent it in the future.
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Make a stand. Say #HelloToKindness. Post your own kind message on Instagram today and tag @HelloMag.