This post assumes you want to learn how to stop kids from being mean for your own child. This is mostly because the most important way that we can teach our children to be kind little humans, is by being kind ourselves.
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Let us go over several ways our children learn that kindness is important.
1. We Must Be Kind To Our Children
Children learn best through osmosis. By that, I mean that we must model the behaviors we want them to have.
We can’t hope to have kind children if we, ourselves, cannot be kind human beings.
Be kind to your children. Share with them even when you do not feel like sharing, and let them know you choose to share because you love them and want them to be happy
Give them second chances and don’t always be 100% rigorous with them learning by consequence.
They also learn by being shown grace and by us showing them that even if they get themselves into a pickle, we can be kind enough to help them through it.
2. We Must Be Kind To Others
If we never want to go out of our way to show others that we are caring human beings, why would we expect those much younger than ourselves to?
Children are still little and learning. They pick up on everything.
Every time we choose to do a random act of kindness–give a homeless person a meal or a few dollars, help someone who has requested help even if we don’t really feel like it, help out at church, volunteer, make donations, pack boxes for less fortunate children…. we show our children that it is important to bless others that do not have the resources that we do.
Even if we are low in resources, we can use our time and talents to help others and brighten their day.
3. Practice Gratitude
We need our children to know that there are so many things in life worth being thankful for.
Among those things, are the kindnesses shown to us by others.
Practice gratitude alongside your children. Verbally affirm all the things that you are thankful for. Be sure to say out loud every kind deed another person has done for you that really makes you thankful.
Maybe your husband made a cup of coffee for you this morning. Maybe one of your children did a random act of kindness for you or their sibling. Maybe your child apologized for something they did that was unkind, without being prompted to.
Attempts to be kind should be celebrated on a regular basis! Gratitude is one of the best ways to stop kids from being mean!
Related Post: Thanksgiving Gratitude For Kids
4. Avoid Power Struggles
Power struggles deteriorate relationships.
If both parties are trying to feel heard and understood, and trying to get their way unproductively, how can important skills like patience, understanding and compromise, even when it’s hard, be learned?
Constant power struggles teach children that winning a battle is more important than preserving relationships.
We are the best people to model appropriate conflict resolution in our children’s lives! It’s totally worth it to learn how to stop power struggles.
5. We Must Listen To Our Children
We’ve got to listen to our children. Really listen.
Sometimes there are things going on that we might not recognize on our own.
In situations such as these, we’ve got to get to the root of the behavior, especially if there’s been a sudden change. If children are being bullied or abused in other ways, they are more likely to act out.
This isn’t something that deserves punishment, but rather compassion, understanding, and a QUICK resolution. The situation needs to change so that your child feels safe and loved.
Once your child feels safe and loved, working on kindness will be much easier!
Hopefully these tips will help you learn how to stop kids from being mean. It usually starts at home.
Unless there are underlying issues that need the care of a professional, these strategies should help you raise kinder kids.
Sometimes it is also worth exploring your child’s relationship with their friends if it seems like they’ve started being mean out of nowhere. Maybe there are hidden things that need to be revealed.
Share in the comments if these tips helped you and your family!