A kindergarten teacher I know told me that some of her students seemed upset by the reaction of their parents to the election of Donald Trump to the office of President Of The United States. Gee, I wonder why?
In response, this wise teacher decided to start talking to her students about what it means to “be kind” to people.
Her students are too young to have an informed opinion, as to whether or not the selection of Mr. Trump will make the world less kind. Hearing talk that it might, can be very upsetting to young children.
It might seem simplistic to tell a child that the election of Donald Trump is a good thing, because it has people talking about kindness and the importance of being kind. Do consider however how young children often like it simple sometimes.
As a father, you might not have been able to protect your children from the election of Donald Trump. You can however still support them in being more kind.
Here are some ways to do that:
Be kinder to your child. This is often best accomplished by first admitting that you are not always as kind to them as you could be. Second, admit that this is often due to you not taking the time to examine what you say and do from their perspective, but that you usually do it from your own perspective. Stop that. Don’t make the mistake that seeing things from your child’s perspective means always doing what they want. When you really think about it, children often don’t really want this “thing”, when they say they do. What children often want is the wisdom of their fathers, expressed in ways that they can understand. This can take more time than you think you want to take, but think about it. Won’t this save you time in the long run?
Show your child how to be kind by being kind to other people. You know when you are. You know when you are not.
Spend more time with your child giving them your full attention. (Hint: put away the smartphone).
The kindergarten teacher told me that as she talked more about kindness in her classroom, a student suggested that the tables in the room, be pushed closer together so she could be closer to her classmates. Wow. How can you get physically closer to your children more often?
Dads, don’t be surprised if your child teaches you something about being kind.
Don’t be surprised if you child is also more kind to you, when you talk more about what it means to be kind, are more kind to them, and are more kind to others.
Explaining to a child that they are to do or not do something in the cause of being kind, can be very efficient and effective. You can explain that things are done or not done to be kind to oneself, those we love, others, plants, animals, and the earth.
Children can be encouraged to NOT do things they feel uncomfortable doing—especially, if they have been told to do the particular thing just because somebody told them it would be kind. Encourage your child to come to you to talk about such situations. It is important to remember that there are very few people in a young child’s life that they should safely go with. For example, your child motivated by a desire to be kind, may want to go help somebody find a lost pet whom they shouldn’t. I think you get the picture.Your child should understand who their safe people are. Your child doesn’t always need to know the details as to why. You do.
I do not write that there are few people that your child can safely go with to be paranoid, but rather to remind you that there is not a long list of people for you to keep track of.
You need to know that people who abuse children often set them up to be abused and continue to be abused, by setting them up with kindness. Your kindness can help protect your child from abuse. People who abuse children often look for those children whom they think are starving for kindness. Be aware of the motives of people who seem awfully kind to your child.
You need to know how to tell when one or more people can be added to your child’s safety list and when people need to be removed from this list.
If the question of “why be kind?” arises, the answer is because it can feel good to be kind is often enough. If you get hit with the question, as to why it feels good to be kind try, “because it just does” or “why do you think it does?” Such answers can sometimes lead to great conversations.
Be prepared for some debate over what is kinder, this or that. Be prepared to be told that somebody your child knows has a different opinion than you do as to the kind thing to do.
Be prepared to defend your opinion in words that your child can understand. Be prepared to change your opinion.
Be prepared to do some contemplation on how flexible or rigid your guidelines are as to what makes for being kind. How are your guidelines affected by situations?
Older children might be interested in talking about how much a president can influence the amount of kindness there is in the World. You might want to think about that some more yourself.
I am not going to tell you who I voted for, if I voted, or if I think Donald Trump is kind or not so much. I will offer my opinion that the more POTUS election results got people thinking about kindness the better.
You may feel tricked into clicking on this post by the suggestion in the title that this was going to be more what to not like about Mr. Trump for you to read. If you are disappointed, I’m not. I believe that you can read too much negative political stuff for your own good. I don’t feel the same way about reading how to be more kind to your child.
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